Vote to properly fund state trauma care

 

In the blink of an eye, you or someone you love could be seriously injured in a crash. When that happens, where is the closest trauma center? Is it close enough to make a difference?

No one thinks about the need for trauma care until it's too late. As a registered nurse with 19 years of experience in pediatric and adult emergency-room settings and critical care, I have seen patients die from their injuries because it took too long for them to be transported to our trauma center.

There are so many people living in rural areas of Georgia who have no fast access to trauma care.

Georgia has only 16 hospitals with trauma care centers, but we need twice that number to meet the needs of Georgians. The best of the best trauma centers are the Level I centers with specialized equipment, trauma surgeons and staff available 24/7. There are only four in Georgia-- in Augusta, at MCGHealth, and in Atlanta, Macon and Savannah.

Where is the closest trauma center to you? Is it close enough to save your life?

I strongly encourage voters Nov. 2 to pass Ballot Amendment 2. For an annual car registration fee of just $10 -- about the price of a movie ticket -- a dedicated funding source will be established for trauma care. That means the $10 fees can be used only to fund the trauma network in Georgia. The money can't be raided for any other purpose.

If there is a no-brainer on any ballot this year, it's Amendment 2. Ten bucks a year is a pretty cheap insurance policy for you and your loved ones.

I urge voters to vote "Yes on 2" with me. My life is worth $10, and yours is, too.

(The writer is nurse manager of the Shock Trauma Intensive Care Unit at MCGHealth Medical Center.)

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