Jacksonville Children’s Hospital Challenges State Ruling On New Trauma Center

Jun 6, 2017

Credit Wolfson Children's Hospital

Jacksonville’s Wolfson Children’s Hospital is challenging the state’s rejection of its application to operate a trauma center.


The Sunshine State strictly limits the amount of trauma centers in each region. It also determines whether hospitals have what it takes to care for the most challenging patients. Florida health regulators say Wolfson doesn’t meet state standards.

The state Health Department said Wolfson hasn’t proved it has the budget to treat more complex cases, and it’s missing certain doctor certifications, among other issues.

Wolfson President Michael Aubin said that’s not true.

“There were actually things that were in the application that the state missed. I understand that they were dealing with 12 different trauma applications across the state, which is the most they’ve probably ever done at one time and were feeling overwhelmed,” he said. “But we had things in there that they said we didn’t have. I have the documentation that shows it.”

Aubin said now, nearby UF Health Jacksonville stabilizes pediatric patients after traumatic incidents and sends them to Wolfson. Aubin said arrangements like this could’ve confused regulators, who were trying to verify things like available doctors on call and licensure. His hospital is already investing in opening its own trauma center, which would make Wolfson the only solely pediatric trauma center in Northeast Florida.

But to get there Wolfson and the Department of Health will either have to go through an administrative law judge or decide to work through the disagreement themselves.

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Ryan Benk can be reached at rbenk@wjct.org, 904-358-6319 or on Twitter @RyanMichaelBenk