What to expect

Specialized expertise, when it's needed most

Doctors in surgery

No one plans on needing emergency care, but at our Level 1 trauma center, it’s our job to be prepared for the unpredictable. From the moment a patient’s journey begins with us, our teams are standing by and ready to assist, from initial assessment and treatment, until follow-up care is complete.

Care journey

Arrival at hospital

Our Level 1 trauma center is supported by a network of pre-hospital providers with expert training in first response treatment and transport of trauma patients. Initial assessment is completed by EMS, fire and/or Aero Med teams on the scene. Method of transport to the hospital (air or road) is also determined on scene, based on the patient’s condition, needs and sometimes weather. In transit, interventions are initiated and communication with hospital teams begins so that the trauma service can be prepared and awaiting patient arrival. On arrival, a hand-off between pre-hospital and trauma teams immediately takes place.

Emergency vehicle
Trauma doctors practicing on a dummy


Our trauma team specializes in treating any injury, at any time. Upon patient arrival, the focus of the team is to address life threatening injuries, such as brain injury or bleeding. The team will then work to identify all injuries sustained and initiate treatment with a multidisciplinary team. Patients will be placed in the surgical intensive care unit or trauma floor during this time. Surgery may be required, in which case the appropriate surgeon and anesthesia team is engaged. During hospitalization, nurses and therapists work with patients at the bedside to ensure preparation for the next step, which is usually home or rehabilitation.


Our goal is to restore patients to their previous quality of life whenever possible. This can only be accomplished with a multidisciplinary team of experts. In partnership with physical and occupational therapists and rehabilitation facilities across West Michigan, we identify a team best suited to the patient’s needs. Some patients need in-home physical therapy, while others may require longer treatment in an inpatient setting to regain enough strength to go home. Together we are committed to patient success and will work to achieve an excellent post-injury rehabilitation plan to get patients back to the activities they enjoy.

Person walking down a hallway
Person in wheelchair receiving care

Follow-up care

The post-traumatic needs of patients can be complex and range from concussion follow-up to wound checks or cast removals. As a patient leaves the hospital, we develop a follow-up plan to meet their needs. Much of the follow-up will be in our multidisciplinary trauma clinic, where many of our trauma specialists are housed. Whether follow-up is short or long term, we walk alongside patients every step of the way until they are feeling well.

A range of specialists ready to treat you

Trauma surgeon avatar
Trauma surgeon

I identify and treat life threatening injuries, and manage care during the patient stay.

Emergency Medicine Specialist avatar
Emergency medicine specialist

I assist with the initial evaluation and stabilization of critically ill trauma patients.

Surgical Intensivist avatar
Surgical intensivist

I care for critically injured patients, managing transfusions, ventilators and other interventions.

Anesthesiologist avatar

I give the general anesthesia and manage patients in the operating room so surgeons can safely perform surgery.

Radiologist avatar

I provide expert review of all imaging studies (X-rays, MRI, CT, etc.) so injuries can be appropriately classified and treated.

Orthopedic Surgeon avatar
Orthopedic surgeon

I assess and treat injuries associated with the bones with the goal of restoring form and function.

Burn Care Specialist avatar
Burn care specialist

I provide assessment and treatment of burns, including excision of burned skin and skin grafting.

Neurosurgeon avatar

I manage injuries of the brain and skill and perform surgery when needed.

Palliative Care Specialist avatar
Palliative care specialist

I ensure the comfort of patients, that care follows patient wishes and help with transition to hospice care if needed.

Geriatric Trauma Specialist avatar
Geriatric trauma specialist

I provide care for patients over the age of 65, including care coordination for safe and effective discharge.

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation avatar
Physical medicine and rehabilitation

I help patients restore movement, with the goal of supporting normal activities of daily life.

AeroMed/EMS avatar
Aero Med\EMS

I perform initial assessment treatments, and facilitate transport to the hospital by air or road.

Care Manager avatar
Care manager

I work with patients and family through their stay, facilitating discharge and ensuring that home needs are met.

Nurse/Nurse Tech avatar
Nurse/Nurse tech

I work with patients around the clock to support recover, navigate injuries and facilitate a positive trajectory.

Spine Surgeon avatar
Spine surgeon

I assess and treat injuries and disorders of the spine, performing surgery when needed.

Subspecialists avatar

We are subspecialists available 24/7 to assess and treat any injury.