BRADENTON -- Blake Medical Center Friday was officially designated a Level II trauma center by the Florida Department of Health, the hospital has announced.
The move makes the Bradenton hospital the only designated trauma center in Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties.
"This designation is a culmination of the extraordinary work by our team of physicians, nurses and other clinicians and our shared goal of providing the best possible trauma care to the residents of Manatee, Sarasota and DeSoto counties," said Daniel Friedrich, president and chief executive officer of Blake Medical Center.
The announcement culminates a three-and-a-half-year certification effort, a news release said.
Before Blake opened its trauma unit in 2011, critically ill and injured patients in Manatee, Sarasota and DeSoto counties had to be airlifted to Tampa or St. Petersburg.