Celebrating 25 Years of Compassion, Dedication, and Leadership in Level 1 Trauma Care


North Memorial Health Hospital Celebrates 25 years as Level I Trauma Center

Since 1998, North Memorial Health Hospital has been a vital provider in the community as a level I trauma center – delivering unparalleled care to patients at the most critical moments. Working alongside teams from ambulance services and respiratory therapy to orthopedic surgery and rehabilitation, our comprehensive care model strives to give patients the best future possible.

And while trauma care may typically be associated with immediate response to a sometimes-life-threatening injury or accident, this team also provides care outside hospital walls with responsive community outreach and injury prevention – and has changed the way healthcare is delivered along the way.


This video features J. Kevin Croston, MD, CEO, North Memorial Health; Melanie Smalley, APRN, CNP, Manager of Acute Care Surgery; Jonathan Gipson, MD, FACS, Medical Director of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery; and Melanie Thorson, MS, APRN, CCNS, Director of Trauma, Acute Care/General Surgery.

Transcript: This program is 25 years better than it was when we started, and let me tell you, that’s a lot. From the time I started at North Memorial, I could tell that the trauma service and the trauma experience at North was a priority. When you become a part of a program, you’re not just impacting one person at a time, you’re impacting hundreds if not thousands of patients and giving them a chance at a better outcome. Trauma is the core identity of North Memorial Hospital. Everybody is needed and involved in that mission. What’s most important to the trauma team is collaboration, and it’s that collaborative team approach to things that just delivers outcomes that one person couldn’t do. We have hundreds of ambulances, nine helicopters, a huge footprint in the state, and the fact that we’re so closely integrated allows us a unique opportunity. Getting blood in the ambulances so that they can start that process sooner and being able to bring patients directly to the operating room if a surgery is what they need to save their life. We are really a community level one trauma center at its heart. Our providers, our team members, our nurses — everybody feels really tightly part of the trauma program. And what we try to do is look at our community and see where there’s opportunities to help. And so it’s making sure the car seats fit, making sure kids have bike helmets. This is a critical place for this town. I actually don’t think we’re anywhere close to as good as we’re going to be. I think the best years are coming. I think the innovations and the things that are going to come along are going to change things for us for the better. It’s really rare for a community level one trauma center to have residencies, research, and this high focus on good quality. Everybody is focused on giving the best care to our trauma patients, and I think it’s a remarkable place to work for that reason. I mean, it is in everything that we do. You know, we have 25 years of excellent clinical care and 25 years of progress, but the future is to always be innovating, to think what’s next, and can we get ahead of it.

“What’s most important to a trauma team is collaboration – and it’s that collaborative team approach to things that just delivers outcomes that one person couldn’t do,” says Dr. Kevin Croston, CEO of North Memorial Health.