Governor Parnell Signs Trauma Care Bill
June 21, 2010, Fairbanks, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today signed legislation encouraging hospitals to seek certification as trauma centers through a new fund to defray the cost of uncompensated care. Senate Bill 168 establishes the Uncompensated Trauma Care Fund to provide the needed incentive for hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities.
Trauma is the leading cause of death for Alaskans between the ages of one and 44, and more than 800 Alaskans are hospitalized each year for spinal cord and brain injuries.
“There is a ‘golden hour’ after an injury that is critical to prevent further harm or even to save a life,” Governor Parnell said. “Victims of violent crimes and other trauma injuries have a need for the very best emergency service and care available.”
Governor Parnell also signed Senate Bill 266. The bill increases emergency compensation for victims of violent crimes who consequently experience severe financial hardship. SB 266 increases immediate compensation from $1,500 to $5,000. The rate had not increased since 1975.
“This bill works to increase options, provide immediate safety and shelter, and offer hope to those recovering from a violent crime,” the governor said.