Northwest Valley to get its first Level I Trauma Center
It has been a worthwhile journey.

Contact: Caitlin Wendt at or Jeff Nelson at

GLENDALE, Ariz. (Sept. 28, 2017) – At 9 a.m. on Oct. 2, Banner Thunderbird Medical Center will hold a special ceremony to announce its plans to open the state’s newest Level I Trauma Center, extending for the first time ever the highest level of emergency care available to the roughly 750,000 residents who live in the northwest Valley.

Banner Thunderbird, 5555 W. Thunderbird Road in Glendale, is the West Valley’s largest and busiest hospital with 555 inpatient beds for children and adults and more than 106,000 visits annually to its emergency room.

At the Oct. 2 ceremony, CEO Deb Krmpotic will publicly announce Banner Thunderbird’s plan to open a provisional Level I Adult Trauma Center for patients ages 15 and older. All state-designated Level I trauma centers receive “provisional” status their first year.

The provisional Level I Trauma Center will officially launch at 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 3, following 18 months of intense preparation.

With the opening, Banner Thunderbird will become the fourth hospital within Banner to hold the state’s “Level I” trauma center designation.

“We have a highly trained and very experienced hospital staff that already cares for more than 168,000 patients a year, or an average of 460 patients a day,” said Dr. Kumash Patel, Banner Thunderbird’s medical director of Trauma Services. “So providing this higher level of care was a natural next step in the evolution of our hospital’s services.”

The Arizona Department of Health Services several years ago established criteria and standards for designating trauma centers as Level I, II, III or IV, based on a hospital’s resources and capabilities. These level designations help ensure that emergency responders get trauma patients to the hospital best equipped and staffed to care for those patients, ensuring faster and safer delivery of care to this patient population.

Designation as an Arizona Level I Trauma Center means the hospital can provide total care for every aspect of injury, greatly reducing the need to transfer them outside the area for life-saving treatment. Examples of injuries a Level I can treat include traumatic car crash injuries, gunshot victims, stab wounds and traumatic brain injuries. 

“I congratulate our hard-working and dedicated colleagues at Banner Thunderbird for achieving this important milestone for the hospital and, most importantly, for the patients we serve,” said Banner Thunderbird CEO Deb Krmpotic. “It has been a worthwhile journey.”

Banner currently operates three Level I trauma centers: one in central Phoenix at Banner-University Medical Center Phoenix, one in the East Valley at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa and one in southern Arizona at Banner-University Medical Center Tucson.

Banner Thunderbird Medical Center specializes in heart care, surgical services, obstetrics and gynecology, emergency care, behavioral health, cancer care, rehabilitation and pediatrics, including the West Valley’s only pediatric intensive care unit, pediatric Emergency department and Level III neonatal intensive care unit. The hospital is part of Banner Health, a nonprofit health system with 28 hospitals in six states. For more information, please visit


Reporter/Editor: The ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. on Oct. 2 at the hospital, 5555 W. Thunderbird Road in Glendale, in the grassy area located on the southwest corner of its 55th Avenue parking garage. Please contact the Banner PR department at if you plan to attend so we can reserve a parking space near the event for your crew. Krmpotic, Dr. Patel, Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers and Glendale Councilman Ray Malnar will be making brief remarks at the ceremony before the hospital’s “Trauma Center” sign is unveiled. All of them will be available for interviews at the conclusion of the brief ceremony.

For further information: Contact: Caitlin Wendt at or Jeff Nelson at