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Hospital first in state to receive critical heart- and stroke-related designations

Teton Valley Hospital this month became first critical access hospital in the state of Idaho to receive STEMI II and Stroke III designations. In addition to its recent Trauma level recognition, the new designations continue to demonstrate how Teton Valley Health Care is read more


Teton Valley Hospital designated as a Trauma Level IV facility

09tvhospital_098After a rigorous application process, Teton Valley Hospital has been approved as a Level IV Trauma Center by the State of Idaho Time Sensitive Emergency Council. This means that the hospital has demonstrated an ability to provide advanced trauma life support.

The State of Idaho began the Level IV designation process in 2014 with a focus on rural hospitals to help improve patient outcomes for one of the top five causes of death in Idaho: trauma. Participation is voluntary.

To earn and maintain the trauma designation, Teton Valley Hospital has bolstered its standardized system of care approach for time sensitive emergencies including trauma, stroke and heart attack. Hospital staff is also required to collect program-specified data for analysis and reporting to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and TSE Council.

This is a tremendous accomplishment for Teton Valley Hospital and they are among very few hospitals in the history of Idaho to be awarded this designation by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare


– Christian Surjan, Program Manager for Idaho TSE

“Teton Valley Hospital has earned a reputation for low infection rates and a focus on quality assessments. It’s a facility-wide objective to go beyond what’s required in our delivery of care, and earning this designation fits in perfectly with that objective,” said Keith Gnagey, CEO of Teton Valley Health Care.

Angela Booker, Chief Nursing Officer, added, “All of our RNs working in the ER are certified in the Trauma Nurse Core Course and the Emergency Nurse Pediatric Course. The TSE does not require these courses, however TVHC has had the foresight to institute these trainings over the past ten years as an added resource for our nurses. All of our medical providers are approved for Advanced Trauma Life Support.”

State auditors completed a thorough inspection of Teton Valley Hospital and the E.R. two weeks ago. Approval of the application was given Wednesday, Oct. 12.

Christian Surjan, Program Manager for Idaho TSE, said,  “Teton Valley Hospital has demonstrated their commitment to providing excellent trauma care for their community; this has been highlighted by their recent designation as an Idaho Time Sensitive Emergency System – Level IV Trauma Center.  This is a tremendous accomplishment for Teton Valley Hospital and they are among very few hospitals in the history of Idaho to be awarded this designation by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.”

Level IV Trauma Centers are audited every three years for reapplication however, data collection and analysis continues throughout the time period of the approved designation. This continual review process is a guiding principle of the TSE system to ensure that trauma centers have instituted an evidence-based, systemic approach to time-sensitive emergencies. 

For more information about this article, please contact Ann Loyola at (208) 354-6301 or


A city slicker’s tale

Ann Loyola

Ann Loyola

He was big, bigger than the others hanging out around him, and ebony black. His eyes were a warm brown and I felt that he may have been a bit shy despite his bulk. He would occasionally look down at the ground and then lift his eyes to look around, as if he wanted to say something to those of us who had noticed him. He was gorgeous and I didn’t mind telling my husband that although I didn’t know his name, I wanted him.

My husband was equally besotted and that’s how it happened, this enormous lapse of judgement. This momentary loss of brain cells. This shame upon my family. My husband signaled the auctioneer and the beast was ours, all 1,320 pounds of Angus beef.

At first we were delighted. Then, as the auctioneer moved along to a lamb and then a pig, I began to wonder about the little graph of numbers and confusing auction instructions on the brochure I was holding. I had barely skimmed them and it seemed like there was a multiplier in there so I had done some magical thinking and decided that we had just made a $2,000 purchase. Not bad for so much beef, right? Especially since we had a friend who’d earlier said he’d buy $300 of whatever we purchased.

Still, I felt uneasy. I don’t like math. When I see numbers, my brain shuts off. My husband has dyslexia so he avoids pesky stuff like instructions. It was the perfect storm. After a covert conversation with a 4-H livestock expert, the number became quite clear: we were on the hoof for $6,500, something that everyone else in the auction crowd knew quite a bit earlier than we did.

Anns-BullIt was a humbling experience. Just moments before, I was thinking of barbeques. Now I wanted to become a vegetarian immediately. I wondered if a doctor’s note would get us out of the debt: Temporary insanity. Acute brain freeze? I wondered if I should start driving and never come back. Just that morning, we’d paid cash for a used car for our college-bound son, so it was a red letter day for the family checking account.

Luckily, there’s a happy ending. My husband and I had no idea that so many people were lusting after our beast, too. Portions were sold quite quickly and we ended up with just the right amount for our freezer. The stink of our embarrassment fades with every barbeque and every taste of that astonishingly good beef.

We’ll be at the next Teton County 4-H Livestock Auction and we’ll raise our paddle again in a more informed manner. We hope more community members will come out and support the youth who participate in this program. These kids work very hard to bring their critters to market and as my husband and I have learned, you can get your friends together to share the costs and have a great time watching the show. 

Have you heard any good city-slicker stories? If so, share them here.