Sunday, February 18 , 2018, 4:36 pm | Fair 64º


Governor Signs Bill to Save County Emergency, Trauma Services

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed into law Assembly Bill 1900, to keep vital emergency medical services available to Santa Barbara County and the Central Coast.

“I am very pleased the governor signed my bill. This is important to every resident and visitor to Santa Barbara County,” said Assemblyman Pedro Nava, author of the legislation. “As an example, Cottage Hospital Trauma Center is the only level II center between Los Angeles and San Jose. We must do everything we can to maintain these services.”

Dr. Angelo Salvucci, medical director of Santa Barbra County Emergency Medical Services, said: “These funds will help maintain and enhance our countywide emergency medical and trauma care network by supporting all five of our hospitals and their emergency services.” 

AB 1900 allows for the continuation by Santa Barbara County for enhanced fines for driving while under the influence (DUI) in order to provide resources for the Maddy Emergency Medical Services Fund.  Continuation of these enhancements on DUIs will help keep emergency medical services at Marian Medical Center, Lompoc Valley Medical Center and the three hospitals in the Cottage Health System available to the entire County.

Dr. Salvucci added, “Fully half of all trauma cases we treat are related to drug and alcohol use.”

Nava would said that Santa Barbara County 2nd District Supervisor Janet Wolf helped get the legislation passed. 

“Supervisor Janet Wolf really stepped up for the people of Santa Barbara County,” Nava said. “I am very grateful for all her insight, dedication and assistance in getting this legislation passed and to Governor Schwarzenegger for approval. Without her help, Santa Barbara County residents would be without important emergency medical services.”

Two hospitals have closed in Santa Barbara County in the past decade, leaving five hospitals to serve the area. Emergency medical services are provided through a coordinated arrangement between all of the county’s hospitals. Santa Barbara County’s Cottage Hospital is home to the only Level II Trauma Center between the major metropolitan areas of Los Angeles and San Jose, and as such, has the only around-the-clock physician on-call panel and pediatric intensive care unit on the Central Coast, supporting facilities throughout the tri-county region.

John Mann is a spokesman for Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara.

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