ST. JAMES, Minn. - The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recently designated Mayo Clinic Health System in St. James as a level 4 trauma hospital. Mayo Clinic Health System in St. James and its staff voluntarily participated in the intense designation process to become part of Minnesota's Statewide Trauma System. The process included an outside review of the hospital's resources and capabilities to care for trauma patients. Mayo Clinic Health System in St. James met standards of commitment, clinical and equipment resources, and staff training. The hospital also participates in a continuous performance improvement process. "Being once again designated as a level 4 trauma hospital by MDH validates our team's ongoing dedication to providing expert patient care to all who need healing," says Jennifer Langbehn, D.O., Mayo Clinic Health System in St. James medical director. "We pride ourselves as a facility with high standards of care, safety and patient experience. And we thank the patients and communities we serve for their ongoing support and trust." For a severely injured person, the time between sustaining an injury and receiving definitive care is the most important predictor of survival - the "golden hour." The chance of survival diminishes with time; however, a trauma system enhances the chance of survival regardless of proximity to an urban trauma hospital. "Trauma is the third leading cause of death in Minnesota," says Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Edward Ehlinger. "The goal of the trauma system is to decrease injured patients' time to care by making sure their medical needs are appropriately matched with hospital resources. With the designation of Mayo Clinic Health System in St. James as a level 4 trauma hospital, we are getting closer to our goal of ensuring that seriously injured Minnesotans have access to an organized system of trauma care wherever they are in the state." On average, trauma claims the lives of 2,400 Minnesotans annually. States with trauma systems have seen survival rates increase by 15 to 20 percent. Wide-scale participation in the voluntary trauma system ensures that a statewide, cooperative effort is in place to care for seriously injured patients. Minnesota began developing a comprehensive statewide trauma system in August of 2005. Through its designation, Mayo Clinic Health System in St. James recognizes the vital role that communities, ambulance services, hospitals and health care professionals play in the care and management of trauma patients. Visit mayoclinichealthsystem.org<http://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/> to learn more about Mayo Clinic Health System in St. James. For more information about the Minnesota Statewide Trauma System, go to health.state.mn.us/traumasystem<http://www.health.state.mn.us/traumasystem>. # # # Mayo Clinic Health System consists of clinics, hospitals and other facilities that serve the health care needs of people in more than 60 communities in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. The community-based providers, paired with the resources and expertise of Mayo Clinic, enable patients in the region to receive the highest-quality health care close to home.