News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray was presented with the Emergency Medicine Awardannual “Congressional Leadership Award” from the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). This award is given to recognize efforts made on the behalf of emergency and trauma medicine, an especially important issue to the Northwest where Harborview Medical Center has the only level one trauma center serving four states.

“I’m deeply honored to receive this award,” said Senator Murray. “Increasing the availability of emergency and trauma care has been a priority of mine and I will continue to ensure that care centers and hospitals have the resources they need to effectively take care of patients in emergency situations, because trauma can happen to anyone, at anytime, and centers need to be available to provide immediate care.”

Senator Murray successfully fought to include her legislation to help trauma care centers keep their doors open as part of the Affordable Care Act. Language included by Senator Murray provides assistance to economically distressed trauma centers by reauthorizing federal funding for centers facing the highest uncompensated costs, emergency funding to help prevent trauma center closures or downgrades, and addresses lack of access in underserved regions.

The crisis in trauma care funding is a particularly urgent problem in the Northwest where Harborview Medical Center has the only level one trauma center serving four states – Washington, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho. Harborview has the highest occupancy rate of any hospital in the region, logs over 75,000 emergency department visits each year, and performs over $110 million in charity care each year– which represents 21% of their total expenditures.