Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area, and 47th by population with 710,231 persons according to the 2010 US Census. There are innumerous statistics and factoids about our 49th state, but one that is the most clinically relevant is that Alaska despite its location, geography, population, and wealth, does not have a level 1 trauma center. Furthermore, the entire state is served by only one ACS-verified level 2 trauma center located in Anchorage. The University of Washington - Harborview Medical Center provides level 1 trauma services for the state of Washington, along with Alaska, Montana, and Idaho.
This project conducted over two visits surveys the unique needs and amazing capabilities of this state and its physicians, nurses, EMS personnel, and citizens to provide trauma and emergency care in some of the most challenging and dangerous situations.
The state of Alaska is committed to reviewing, improving, and further developing its trauma system, and enhance its ability to provide more definitive care and reducing the number of patients transferred to Seattle.
The initial visit involved meeting with the state's Trauma Program Manager, Chair of the Committe on Trauma for Alaska, various members of the local Anchorage EMS community, the Trauma Registry Manager, and an executive with one of the aeromedical transport services in Alaska. This was also supplemented with participating in the Trauma Systems Review Committee Meetings held by the trauma/ems community there.