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Trauma Center at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center


The Southwest Medical Center Trauma team stands on the helipad next to a helicopter
400 NE Mother Joseph Pl
Vancouver, WA 98664
Previous trauma or acute care surgery patients, call
Rapid Admit/Transfer Line
Located Inside

PeaceHealth Southwest's Trauma Center is a Washington state verified Level II trauma center. It is one of three state-designated trauma centers in the Portland metropolitan area and is the only one in Vancouver, Washington. This trauma center oversees the quality of trauma care in six southwest Washington counties and is equipped to handle any complex or severe traumas with a multi-disciplinary approach. Our team treats about 2,000 trauma patients each year.

The team consists of 10 surgeons who are all board certified in general surgery and surgical critical care, and four physician assistants who assist the surgeon in taking care of patients in the ED, ICU, ward, OR, and in clinic. Together, these 14 members are there when the injured patient arrives in the emergency department, round daily in the ICU and ward, arrange the discharge, and continue the care in clinic. We have two surgeons on at a time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. 

About Us

The PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center Trauma Team is comprised of 10 surgeons who are all board certified in general surgery and surgical critical care. In addition, there are four physician assistants who assist the surgeon in taking care of patients in the ED, ICU, ward, OR, and in clinic.

Together, these 14 members, are there when the injured patient arrives in the emergency department, round daily in the ICU and ward, arrange the discharge, and continue the care in clinic. We are a Washington state verified Level 2 trauma center working out of a 450 bed hospital and see roughly 2000 traumas per year. We have two surgeons on at a time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. 

For trauma, we have many patients that fall who are on blood thinners such as warfarin, involved in car and motorcycle crashes, gunshot and stab wounds, etc. Our team is skilled at managing shock and resuscitating with a large volume of blood products or reversing coagulopathy. We work very closely with neurosurgeons and orthopedists as many patients have combined head injuries and long bone fractures. 

We also take care of acute care surgery problems such as appendicitis, acute cholecystitis, small bowel obstructions, diverticulitis, perforated duodenal ulcers, necrotizing soft tissue infections, etc. Our surgeons are skilled at laparoscopic appendectomy, laparoscopic cholecystectomy, colectomy, wound debridement, tracheostomy, feeding access (PEG), thoracostomy (chest tube), central venous access, arterial lines, bronchoscopy, etc. 

For both trauma and acute care surgery, all of our surgeons act as the intensivist, i.e. managing blood pressure and heart rate, adjusting the ventilator, correcting electrolytes, optimizing nutrition, addressing urine output, etc. We work closely with pharmacists, nutritionists, respiratory therapists, physical and occupational therapists, wound care specialists, speech pathologists, social workers, and nursing to get the patient back to a normal way of life. 

Our Services

PeaceHealth Southwest Trauma Center is designated center equipped to handle any complexity and severity of a trauma.  The center has a multi-disciplinary team consisting of:

  • Trauma surgeons with additional expertise in acute care surgery and surgical critical care
  • Emergency Medicine Specialists with expertise in stabilization of acute, life-threatening illness.
  • Orthopaedic surgeons with special expertise in complex orthopedic injuries including complex pelvic fractures.
  • Reconstructive plastic surgeons.
  • Neurosurgeons trained in all aspects of managing traumatic brain and spine injuries.
  • ENT and Oral Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS) with interest in complex facial fractures.
  • Interventional Radiologists that are able to perform procedures such as embolization of a spleen or placing a cholecystostomy tube.

In addition, the trauma team works closely with the following professionals:

  • Anesthesiologists
  • ICU Pharmacists
  • Infectious Disease
  • Interventional Radiologists
  • Nursing care with specific interest in the
    trauma patient (including complex orthopaedic injuries) and acute care surgery
  • Nutritionists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Physical Medicine and Rehab (PM&R)
  • Physical Therapists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Pulmonologists
  • Respiratory Therapists
  • Social Services
  • Speech Pathologists

The trauma providers also work with these clinics to provide follow-up care for those who have been hospitalized for a traumatic injury at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center.

Our Team

Trauma Surgeons 

Southwest Medical Center Trauma Surgeons stand in front of their helicopter

 

Andrew W. Jennings MD

Surgery (General Surgery)
Surgery, Surgical Critical Care
Dr. Jennings was born and raised in Texas. He received his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center followed by completing his general surgery residency at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. Dr. Jennings then completed a fellowship in surgical critical care at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Memorial Hospital. He practiced in Dallas for two years prior to relocating to the Pacific Northwest. In his spare time he enjoys exploring the local trails, traveling, cooking, reading and spending time with his family.

Tracy A. Timmons MD

Surgery (General Surgery)
Surgery, Surgical Critical Care
Dr. Timmons is board-certified in general surgery and surgical critical care. Her specialty is trauma. She is a member of the American College of Surgeons, the Eastern Association for Surgery in Trauma and the Society of Critical Care Medicine.

Stephanie A. Sea MD

Surgery (General Surgery)
Surgery, Surgical Critical Care
Dr. Sea was born and raised in central Illinois. After completing medical school at Southern Illinois University, she moved to Philadelphia where she completed her training in General Surgery at Einstein Medical Center in 2015. She pursued and completed a fellowship in Trauma and Surgical Critical Care at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California in 2016. She worked in Baton Rouge, Louisiana as a Trauma and Critical Care Surgeon at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, also serving as an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans. Dr. Sea relocated to the Pacific Northwest in spring of 2018 joining the Trauma and Acute Care Surgery Team at PeaceHealth Southwest. She enjoys mountain biking, hiking and all water sports.

Andrea Jo King MD

Surgery (General Surgery)
Surgery, Surgical Critical Care
Dr. King loves to travel which is represented by her training across the country. She received her undergraduate degree at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, her medical degree at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico and completed her training in Cleveland, Ohio at University Hospitals Case Medical Center for General Surgery Residency and MetroHealth Medical Center for Trauma & Surgical Critical Care Fellowship. Her Alaskan born roots have brought her back to the Pacific Northwest for the outdoor adventure. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling to visit her family, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, cheering on the Cleveland Cavaliers and pretty much anything to do with water.

Khaled Pharaon MD

Surgery (General Surgery)
Surgery, Surgical Critical Care
Surgery, Trauma Surgery
Originally from Louisiana, Dr. Pharaon received his medical degree from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, where he also began his General Surgery training. Hurricane Katrina struck during his intern year and he was stranded for six days in the hospital. While stranded, Dr. Pharaon helped organize the triage, care, and evacuation of patients. He then relocated to Little Rock and completed his General Surgery training at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. At Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Dr. Pharaon completed a fellowship in Trauma and Critical Care. Dr. Pharaon is a member of The Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, The Society of Critical Care Medicine, and Portland Surgical Society. He is also a member of the Fellow of American College of Surgeons (FACS). He has written several book chapters in various surgical texts over the last few years. When he is not practicing medicine, he enjoys international travel, photography, and spending time with his wife and three children.

Michael J. Casey MD

Surgery (General Surgery)
Surgery, Trauma Surgery
Dr. Michael J. Casey, is board certified physician who specializes in trauma and critical care. He belongs to numerous medical and specialty societies. He has also served as the Alaska State director for disaster management. His clinical interests include trauma and prevention, critical care medicine, complex abdominal closures and urology. Dr. Casey is also a biomedical design engineer and has served as the Alaska state director for disaster management. His philosophy of care is to care for people as if they were his own family and he says the best thing about his job is the people he gets to meet and his partners. A Nevada native, Dr. Casey and his wife have five children. In addition to time with his family, he enjoys gardening, playing with his dogs, off-roading and metal-sculpting.

Tim H. Lee MD

Surgery (General Surgery)
Surgery, Surgical Critical Care

Loic J. Fabricant MD

Surgery (General Surgery)
Surgery, Surgical Critical Care
Loic Fabricant, MD, is a member of the PeaceHealth Southwest trauma team, providing emergency general surgery and surgical critical care. Trauma surgeons must be ready at all times to handle a wide variety of unplanned high-risk medical emergencies. “I chose my career in trauma care for the opportunity to help others during what are often the most stressful moments of their lives,” said Dr. Fabricant. “My goal is to treat patients as I would my own family – by listening, informing and assisting in decisions that will lead to the best possible outcomes.” Dr. Fabricant is a Pacific Northwest native, graduating from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, and from Oregon Health & Science University with a medical degree, residency in general surgery, and fellowship in surgical critical care. He is certified in general surgery and surgical critical care by the American Board of Surgery. Dr. Fabricant has previously provided care in numerous medical facilities within Oregon. He also worked at The University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, Vermont. During his time at the University of Vermont, Dr. Fabricant was an assistant professor at the Larner College of Medicine where he was honored for three consecutive years with the Howe Outstanding Teacher of Surgery Award. In his free time, Dr. Fabricant enjoys cooking , snowboarding, kiteboarding, and hiking with his wife and two standard poodles.

Yuxuan Jerry Wang MD

Surgery (General Surgery)
Surgery, Trauma Surgery
Jerry Wang, MD, grew up in a small town in New Mexico and attended the University of New Mexico for undergrad as well as medical school. He went to University of California – Riverside for general surgery residency and completed his trauma surgery fellowship at Oregon Health and Sciences University. He enjoys spending time with his family outdoors, playing soccer, and playing music.

Brian J. Zeithaml MD

Surgery (General Surgery)
Surgery, Surgical Critical Care
Dr. Zeithaml was raised in North Carolina, where he received his undergraduate and medical degrees from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a medical student, he directed the oldest and largest student-run free clinic in the United States, the Student Health Action Coalition (SHAC). Inspired by the privilege of serving populations in need and his calling to surgery, he completed his general surgery residency, surgical critical care fellowship, and acute care surgery fellowship at East Carolina University under the mentorship of Dr. Eric Toschlog. Dr. Zeithaml is a member of The Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma and The Society of Critical Care Medicine. He is an aspiring member of the Fellow of American College of Surgeons (FACS). When he is not practicing medicine, he enjoys spending time with his wife and three children, hiking, and playing hockey and lacrosse.


Physician Assistants

Southwest Medical Center Trauma Physician Assistants stand on the helipad next to a helicopter

 

Erin A. Whitehall PA

Physician Assistant, Surgical
Erin A. Whitehall is a Physician Assistant in Trauma and Acute Care Surgery who began working at PeaceHealth Southwest in 2014. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies from Albany Medical College in Albany, NY in 2012. Prior to starting at PeaceHealth Southwest, she worked in General Surgery in the Seattle area for 2 years. She enjoys working with patients with complex medical and surgical issues, assisting in the operating room, and coordinating recovery treatments and therapies for trauma patients while they are in the hospital and outpatient clinic setting. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her growing family, running, cheering on the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers, exploring new restaurants in the Portland area, and traveling throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Cassandra L. Sappington PA

Physician Assistant
Physician Assistant, Surgical
Cassandra Sappington is a certified Physician Assistant on the Trauma Team and PeaceHealth Southwest. She has been at Southwest since 1991 working in various capacities. She was an Emergency Department RN for 12 years prior to return to school to obtain her Bachelor’s in Physician Assistant studies in 2008. She has since obtained her Master’s degree in Physician Assistant studies. She enjoys working with trauma patients, especially with the aspect of seeing patients get better allowing them to return to their prior activities. She enjoys working with such a great team who are all supportive and focused on creating an environment to enhance outcomes. In her spare time, she enjoys her animals which include dogs, ducks, geese, chickens, and cockatoos. She also enjoys camping, hiking, scrapbooking as well as time with her family and friends.

For Patients

Call the trauma/ACS clinic for:

  • Fever over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Signs of infection such as redness, swelling, warmth around the wound or drainage of pus
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe vomiting or cannot keep food down
  • Severe pain that is not controlled with pain medicine or is getting worse
  • You have trouble having a bowel movement or have significant diarrhea
  • You have heavy bleeding from incision 
     
Pain medication:
 
  • Tylenol and Ibuprofen should be used for pain control unless otherwise stated by your providers. Please let your providers know if you have a history of stomach/peptic ulcers, kidney problems or liver disease
  • Narcotic pain medication (Oxycodone) is to be used little as possible, as seldom as possible, to be tolerable. Narcotic pain medication should be reserved for severe, intolerable pain. Over the next few days, you should work on increasing the duration of time between doses and taking fewer pills with each dose.
  • Do not drive while taking pain medication.
  • Use a stool softener + gentle laxative (Docusate + Senna) or stool softener alone (Docusate) and drink plenty of fluids while you are taking narcotic pain medication as these medications commonly cause constipation.
  • For your safety, you are to fill narcotic pain medications will only 1 provider
  • Trauma/ACS clinic will not replace stolen or lost prescriptions for pain medications

If you are having issues with pain control or you are running low on pain medication, please call the trauma/ACS clinic to arrange a clinic visit. Pain medication cannot be called into the pharmacy.

Please call a few days prior to completely running out of medication. At least 24 hour notice is required for refills. Trauma/ACS hours: Monday thru Friday 9am - 4pm.

Over the Counter Medications:

  • Take a Stool softener + Laxative while on narcotic pain medication.
  • Take one tablet daily. Please call the Trauma/Acute Care Surgery Clinic if you have issues with constipation.
  • Ibuprofen 200mg tablets: 2-4 tablets, three times daily with food as needed for pain. Do not take more than 12 tablets in 24 hours
  • Tylenol 500mg tablets:
  • 1-2 tablets every 6 hours as needed for pain. Do not take more than 8 tablets in 24 hours.

**Take your incentive spirometer home with you and use it often. 

Diet:

  • Resume your regular diet. Recommend high protein for improved wound healing

Activity:

  • Weight-bearing Restrictions: This is individualized.
  • For those that are ambulatory, frequent, short walks are encouraged. Do as much as you can tolerate. You may find that you need frequent short rest periods during your recovery time. 

May I drive?

  • No driving while taking narcotic pain medications
  • No driving if you have severe pain with movement

May I Work?

  • Returning to work will be individualized based on your injuries/medical condition.

Drain Care:

  • If you have a drain, record the time and amount of drainage on a piece of paper. Empty the drain every few hours or as needed. The nurse will explain how the drain works before you are discharged from the hospital.
 

If you were told that a chest xray is needed before appointment...

When you call for your Trauma Clinic appointment notify the staff that you have a CXR before your visit

Please arrive 30 minutes before your Trauma Clinic appointment and go to:

Diagnostic Imaging at 505 NE 87th Ave #LL50 (lower level same building)

Follow Up Appointments:

  • Call the trauma/ACS clinic on the next working day at 360-514-1854 to schedule follow up with your surgical treatment team. You should arrange follow up for 14 days after discharge for most patients. Please call prior to your appointment with any questions or concerns.

For Referring Physicians

Rapid Admit/Transfer Line

360-514-1000

The PeaceHealth trauma and acute care surgery team strives to meet the needs of the community.  Our services are accessible and responsive.  We want your patients to receive the best care and get back to living life. 

Trauma Education

Trauma staff provide education and support to reduce trauma risk through programs such as:

  • Trauma Nurses Talk Tough, straight talk to children about bicycle and road safety and to teens about driving responsibility.
  • Tread To Safety, a fall prevention program presenting simple steps that can be taken to reduce or prevent the risk of falls among seniors.
  • Stop the Bleed, a course that gives participants the training to recognize life-threatening bleeding and intervene effectively.
  • Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS), a medical training program, for the medical providers to teach a systematic, concise approach to the care of a trauma patient.

To schedule trauma staff for a talk to your group, call 360-514-1675.

Related Locations

My PeaceHealth Patient Portal

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