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Southlake identified as Level III Trauma Centre

Monday March 11, 2024

  • Emergency

With key clinical and administrative leadership support, Southlake is included in province’s first round of identifying Level III Trauma Centres

Southlake Regional Health Centre has been identified as a Level III Trauma Centre, enabling care teams to provide life-saving interventions to patients that present at Southlake.

Trauma is a term used to describe physical injury that occurs suddenly due to an external force or event. As a Level III Trauma Centre, Southlake can care for medium acuity patients including wounds resulting from accidents, falls, sports injuries, violence or other incidents that cause damage to the body’s tissues, organs and bones.

“Trauma is the leading cause of death for Canadians under the age of 45, cutting short many young lives,” said Stella Johnson, Director of Emergency and Mental Health at Southlake. “While we already care for more than 500 medium acuity trauma patients annually, this formal recognition means we can continue to do so as part of an inclusive, integrated and accountable system that leverages expertise from leading centres like Sunnybrook, Unity Health Toronto and SickKids Hospital to improve outcomes for patients, close to home.”

In 2021-22, Ontario’s Regional Trauma Networks (RTN) identified hospital sites that fulfilled the criteria to function as Level III Trauma Centres to help improve trauma capacity within the healthcare system. Southlake was identified as one of six initial sites in Ontario due to its highly skilled and multidisciplinary team of medical professionals, including surgeons, emergency medicine specialists and critical care nurses, available 24/7 to respond to injured patients.

As part of the South Central RTN within the Ontario trauma system, Southlake will receive $250,000 in additional funding to create a community hospital level III trauma program. High-acuity trauma patients will continue to be transferred to industry leading Lead Trauma Hospitals in the Greater Toronto Area.

“Time is truly of the essence when it comes to saving the lives of trauma patients,” said Leeor Sommer, MD, Trauma Medical Director at Southlake. “Data shows lower mortality in areas with Level III Trauma Centres because patients have access to immediate care in the right place. Timely treatment can significantly improve the chances of survival and recovery, so trauma patients need rapid access to specialized trauma care.”

Specialized trauma team response allows our clinicians to quickly assess and address life-threatening injuries, control bleeding, stabilize vital signs and prevent further harm. Delaying care can lead to complications, permanent damage or even loss of life.

“Southlake is one of the first in Ontario to be identified as a Level III Trauma Centre, and this reflects our commitment to providing exceptional, life-saving care to the communities we serve,” said David Makary, MD, Vice President, Medical Affairs at Southlake. “It’s important to note that this is a progression along with the growth of our communities and volumes of trauma patients are not expected to increase overnight. Being identified as a Level III Trauma Centre will help us to improve our trauma care and ensure patients experiencing trauma can receive immediate high-quality care.”

Going forward the trauma team will also offer community outreach and education through the Stop the Bleed program.


“With Southlake Regional Health Centre now identified as a Level III Trauma Centre, residents will be able to access the exceptional care they need, close to home. We have an ever-growing population in Newmarket—Aurora and the Northern York South Simcoe catchment area. Southlake’s unwavering commitment to deliver faster access to care for trauma related patients is a testament to their desire to reinvent how healthcare is delivered in our community.”

– Dawn Gallagher Murphy, MPP Newmarket–Aurora and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health


“By identifying Southlake as a Level III Trauma Centre, our government is bringing this important care closer to home. As one of the first hospitals in Ontario to receive this designation, I am confident that Southlake will continue to be a leader in delivering critical health care to communities across York-Simcoe and beyond.”

– Caroline Mulroney, MPP for York-Simcoe


“Families and seniors in King-Vaughan and across York Region deserve the very best health care, which is why our government is proud to support the incredible doctors, nurses, and other health professionals at Southlake Regional Health Centre. We continue to invest in Southlake, now one of the first hospitals to be identified as a Level III Trauma Centre, so that we can save the lives of families and seniors in our community.”

– Stephen Lecce, MPP for King-Vaughan


“As chair of the level, 3 Trauma Centre implementation task group, I can say that Southlake is one of our top leaders in enhancing trauma care for their region. They have excelled in introducing the best standards of trauma care practice. Critical Care Services Ontario and the Ministry of Health are expecting more outstanding work and results from Southlake’s Level 3 Trauma Centre in the near future.”

– Andrew Beckett, President, Trauma Association of Canada and Medical Director, Trauma Program, St. Michael’s Hospital