Community Hospital gets upgraded status as rumors swirl about bigger change

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT) -- Emergency medical care on the Western Slope is getting an upgrade.

Community Hospital recently received a permanent Level Three Trauma Center designation. They had been granted a provisional designation last year from the American College of Surgeons and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, but this now validates the trauma level status for the next three years.

"This means Community Hospital can treat patients with a higher level of severity and receive ambulance transports from lower level hospitals," said Chief Medical Officer Thomas Tobin. "To be able to get from where we were at a level 4 to a level 3 we have to show we have 24-hour general surgery, anesthesia, emergency physicians available, and that we have all the services to support those."

Hospitals are given a level one through five designation, with one being the highest. Saint Mary's is a Level 2 Trauma Center.

This comes as rumors are swirling about the future of the Community Hospital. People have been about rumors that the hospital may be considering a buy out from a bigger Front Range hospital.

Director of Marketing and Communications Karen Martsolf said, "There are discussions going on, but there is nothing definitive."

Community Hospital's roots date back to 1946 and has had the 'Community' name since 1983.

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