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Camp Lejeune's hospital to become regional trauma care center

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JACKSONVILLE, Onslow County - During a visit from Sen. Thom Tillis on Wednesday, the Republican senator announced the Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune would be expanding services to become a regional trauma center.

According to officials, the reason for the change is to accomplish medical readiness. It will be only the third trauma center in all of eastern North Carolina.

The facility will change names to become the Naval Medical Center of Camp Lejeune.

"It's very important too today to know that we're changing the name to a medical center," Tillis said. "That's not a change, that's not a name change just for naming's sake but that actually enables them to move to this next level of capabilities and actually beyond what we've talked about today for trauma care."

The goal for the expansion will be to improve combat casualty care training for military medics while enabling Lejeune's Naval Hospital to serve as a trauma center for both military and civilian patients.

"It's really criteria that's established by the American College of Surgeons and local at the local level, the state and local level for what trauma care looks like in the community," said Penny Buroingane, President and CEO of Onslow Memorial Hospital. "And it really speaks to the equipment, training, the credentials of the people who provide that care."

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