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Division Overview


The Division of Acute Care Surgical Services, formerly Division of Trauma, Critical Care & Emergency Surgery, continues to receive verification from the American College of Surgeons as a Level 1 trauma center, making it one of only two nationally recognized trauma centers in the state.

The recognition is awarded to hospitals that demonstrate their ability to provide the highest quality of care for all injured patients. As a verified trauma center, VCU Medical Center offers 24-hour, on-site acute care surgical specialists, dedicated critical care OR facilities with round-the-clock access to laboratory services and coordinated interdisciplinary specialities including cardiac surgery, neurosurgery, plastic surgery, anesthesiology, and radiology.

The Division consists of ten full-time trauma surgeons, two intensivists, a nurse-manager/trauma coordinator, two trauma registrar nurses, trauma social workers, and two trauma researchers. The Acute Care Surgical Services Division works in close collaboration with the Department of Emergency Medicine.

The 865-bed VCU Medical Center is a regional referral center for the state and is the region's only Level I Trauma Center. The center offers nearly 200 specialty areas, many of national and international note. The 28-bed Surgical Trauma Intensive Care Unit specializes in patients with trauma and surgical critical care.

The areas of research in which a resident can participate reflect the clinical interest of the faculty members. These areas include: organ preservation during traumatic injury, reperfusion injury in hemorrhagic shock and mechanisms of lethal critical illness after traumatic injury e.g., combat casualty care for the military, pre-hospital trauma care, and violence and injury prevention. Learn more

Emergency Room triages and resuscitation, nutritional and metabolic management, and direct participation in critical care are experiences included in resident rotations. Only through direct participation in patient care activities can surgical maturation occur. The Division of Acute Care Surgical Services has a ACGME-accredited Critical Care Fellowship program where fellows are trained by and work along-side world renowned specialists in trauma, critical care, and burn injuries. Research, publications, and active participation in international collaboration with other trauma-related professionals is encouraged through the partnership with the Panamerican Trauma Society.

Continuing education and training for practicing professionals is through The Center for Trauma and Critical Care Education (CTCCE). Established in 1980 as an outreach program providing education to the volunteer EMS community in Central Virginia, today the VCU Center for Trauma & Critical Care offers comprehensive training programs for medical center and community care providers.



EMS imageThe Center for Trauma and Critical Care Education was founded in 1981 to improve EMS education particularly as it pertains to the management of the trauma patient. Thus began the first Paramedic Program in Central Virginia and the only program at that time which was affiliated with a University-based Medical Center.

CTCCE provides required credentialing for all housestaff, community providers, and 1st responders and is fully equipped and staffed to be a major provider of life support education offering courses such as:

  • Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS),
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS),
  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS),
  • Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS),
  • Advanced Trauma Care for Nurses (ATCN)
  • Basic Life Support (BLS)

airway imageUnder the direction of Jay Gould, RN, EMT-P, the Center also has Paramedic Program Director, Kenneth Williams, MDiv, BS, EMT-P.

Michel Aboutanos, MD, MPH, FACS, Chair, Division of Acute Care Surgical Services, serves as the Medical Director.

To learn more about the Center for Trauma and Critical Care Education, or to register for one of our courses, please visit www.ctcce.vcu.edu

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