Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford Reverified as a Level I Trauma Center

August 9, 2023

PALO ALTO, Calif.—Stanford Health Care and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford jointly have been reverified as a Level I pediatric trauma center by the American College of Surgeons (ACS)—the highest possible ranking for trauma centers. The Level I verification recognizes hospitals’ commitment to providing the highest-quality trauma care for all injured patients.

Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, the center of Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, is one of only six Level I pediatric trauma centers verified by the ACS in California. Pediatric trauma patients come from as far north as the Oregon border and as far south as Bakersfield. Stanford Health Care has been recognized as a Level I trauma center since 1998. Collectively, the two hospitals see more than 3,700 trauma patients per year.

“At Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, we are dedicated to caring for our most critically injured children and teens,” said Stephanie Chao, MD, pediatric trauma medical director at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health. “Our unparalleled specialty care, which allows us to quickly and safely deliver the best possible treatment, and our collaboration with Stanford Health Care’s emergency department enable us to meet the unique needs of patients and their families. We are honored that the reverification recognizes our ongoing commitment to family-centered and round-the-clock care.”

To be verified as a Level I trauma center, a hospital must provide a full spectrum of care to handle the most serious trauma injuries. At Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, that includes:

  • Coordinated response from all necessary specialty medical staff.
  • 24-hour availability of pediatric-trained trauma surgeons and emergency medicine doctors.
  • Operating rooms that are equipped and ready at all times.
  • Neurosurgical and neurological care for severely injured patients.
  • Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for the special needs of children with serious illness or injury.
  • In-hospital anesthesiologists.
  • Rigorous performance improvement patient safety process.
  • Benchmarking data collection.
  • Evidence-based protocols and standards of care.
  • Dedicated research.
  • Community outreach and first responder education.

In the site report from the ACS, surveyors praised the comprehensive trauma program for clinical and research excellence, including its partnership with the community through the injury-prevention program to address health care inequities.

Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford offers innovative surgical technology, which leads to more successful surgeries and less time under anesthesia. The pediatric trauma team also performs complex procedures that are not available at many other centers, including replantation of hands, fingers, and toes, and complex plastic reconstruction.

“The joint Level I verification between Stanford Health Care and Packard Children’s provides a unique advantage to patients,” Dr. Chao adds. “For instance, Stanford Medicine is a leader in endovascular surgery, which is an innovative, less invasive procedure that can be used to treat critical injuries to major arteries of the body. Our pediatric trauma center is unique in offering this to our young patients. Because adult and pediatric services are offered side by side, surgeons have the capability to bring pediatric and adult specialists across specialties together to provide innovative, quality care at the moment when children need it the most.”

The ACS is a scientific and educational association of surgeons founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical education and practice and to improve the care of surgical patients. The College has more than 72,000 members and is the largest association of surgeons in the world.

Media Contact

Katie Chen
(650) 465-4872

About Stanford Medicine Children’s Health

Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford at its center, is the Bay Area’s largest health care system exclusively dedicated to children and expectant mothers. Our network of care includes more than 65 locations across Northern California and more than 85 locations in the U.S. Western region. Along with Stanford Health Care and the Stanford School of Medicine, we are part of Stanford Medicine, an ecosystem harnessing the potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education, and clinical care to improve health outcomes around the world. We are a nonprofit organization committed to supporting the community through meaningful outreach programs and services and providing necessary medical care to families, regardless of their ability to pay. Discover more at