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Lee Health Celebrates 30th Anniversary of the Trauma Center with Community-Focused Events

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Events are open to the public for trauma education, awareness, and resources. 

(Fort Myers, Fla. – Apr. 23, 2024) --- This year, the Trauma Services District, located at Lee Health’s Gulf Coast Medical Center, celebrates three decades of dedicated service to the residents and visitors of Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, and Lee counties. In honor of the 30th anniversary and in conjunction with Trauma Awareness Month in May, the community is invited to a series of events spanning three weeks to raise awareness about trauma care and its impact on individuals and communities. 

The following events will be at Gulf Coast Medical Center, located at 13681 Doctor’s Way, Fort Myers:

  • Touch a Truck on Saturday, May 4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.:  Located in the parking lot at the Daniels Parkway entrance, attendees will be able to engage in conversations with Trauma Center Providers and staff, including the Law Enforcement, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and the Fire Department. The Lee Health Blood Mobile will accept blood donations, and “Team First Responders” will support Lee Health and coalition partners with their NASCAR, Offshore Racing Speedboat, and Truck.
  • Coffee Talk with a Trauma Doctor on Friday, May 17, from 9 am to 10:30 am: In the hospital’s center atrium, guests can ask questions and gain insight from Lee Health Trauma Provider.
  • Dedication on Friday, May 24, at 10 a.m.: A tree planting, bench, and plaque will be added to the courtyard for trauma patients, families, friends, ambassadors, and survivors.

More than any other disease or illness, trauma is a leading cause of death among individuals aged one to 44. The Lee Health Trauma Center serves complex and life-threatening cases, with more than 90% involving blunt trauma from falls, motor vehicle accidents, and motorcycle crashes. These accidents and injuries can profoundly impact individuals, families, and our surrounding communities. 

Trauma centers are vital in saving thousands of lives by ensuring that severely injured patients receive critical care within the “Golden Hour.” The treatment administered during this crucial first hour following a severe injury can mean the difference between temporary and permanent disability and even life and death.

Since opening in 1994, the Trauma Center has seen 58,261 patients, which continues to rise as the population in Southwest Florida continues to grow. 

As the only state-approved Level II trauma center between Sarasota and Miami, Lee Health has been there for the Southwest Florida community with highly trained trauma specialists and cutting-edge resources and technology to provide expert emergency care. The Trauma Center currently averages around 400 patients each month.

“The Trauma Center is a safety net for the communities of Southwest Florida, and we are confident that it will continue to serve our residents and visitors as the area experiences further growth over the next 30 years and beyond,” said Larry Antonucci, M.D., president, and chief executive officer of Lee Health. “Our typical trauma patient is an ordinary individual going about everyday activities. No one anticipates sustaining a traumatic injury. An optimally functioning trauma system requires a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach, and we take pride in providing our part of this essential service to our friends and neighbors in our community. We also thank our counterparts in Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, and Lee counties for their coordination and dedication to our community’s health and well-being.”

Previously located at Lee Memorial Hospital, the Trauma Center moved to Gulf Coast Medical Center in 2022 as part of a significant expansion to the hospital to enhance patient care and better serve the Southwest Florida community. At the time, the health system made history as the first in Florida to move a trauma program. 

The Trauma Center also relies on a span of services known as the trauma continuum, beginning with 911 dispatchers, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Pilots, Flight Nurses, Fire Departments, Law Enforcement, Case Management, Medical Social Work Support Services pre and post hospitalization, Survivor Support Groups for patients and families, Ambassador Programs, and assistance with post-hospital navigation through Lee Health’s Trauma continuum of care. These programs are offered to all who have been affected by Trauma.  

Trauma services also help raise awareness of Traumatic Injury Prevention and safety through educational programs such as the High-Risk Driver, Young Driver Program, Youth Violence Prevention, Driving Safety for Seniors, Falls Prevention, and Sports Injury Prevention.

Gulf Coast Medical Center is at 13681 Doctor’s Way, Fort Myers, FL, 33912.

Learn more about Lee Health’s trauma services at

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