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Arcadia Hospital to Keep Trauma Center

August 20, 1987|ELIZABETH CARAS | Times Staff Writer

Southern California Methodist Hospital in Arcadia will continue participating in the Los Angeles County trauma system, at least for the rest of the year.

The hospital's board of directors made the decision last week after studying the effects of rising costs and decreased state and county funding.

"We're very proud of the service, and the service is a very important one to the central San Gabriel Valley," hospital President Frederick C. Meyer said Wednesday.

The emergency and trauma center has offered prompt, specialized care to about 34,000 patients a year since 1983, Meyer said.

County-designated trauma centers, unlike traditional emergency rooms, are required to have on duty 24 hours every day an emergency-room physician, a general surgeon and an anesthesiologist, in addition to extensive radiology and operating-room equipment.

Rising costs have prompted the closing of some trauma centers in the county, including one at Pomona Valley Community Hospital in October 1986.

Meyer said the hospital will continue operating the center next year only if it receives increased funding. That decision will be made in January, he said.

In West Covina, Queen of the Valley Hospital officials also are struggling to decide whether to continue its program through the rest of 1987.

A task force formed by the hospital's board of trustees has been reviewing the situation and is expected to submit a recommendation to the full board Sept. 1.

Peter Makowski, executive vice president and chief operating officer, said that the hospital has financial problems similar to the Arcadia hospital's but that the situation has worsened because of a 25% increase in patients since Pomona Valley closed its center.

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