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Meet our Trauma Team

The Trauma Services team is responsible for all aspects of Phoebe’s Trauma program, including:

  • Safety and quality care review through the Trauma Performance Improvement & Patient Safety Program
  • Hospital and medical staff compliance with American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma (ACS-COT) guidelines and the State of Georgia regulations
  • Administrative and financial responsibilities
  • Trauma education for health care providers
  • Injury prevention education to the community

Leon Dent, MD

Medical Director, Trauma Program


Brandi D. Fitzgerald, BSN

Manager, Trauma Program


The Trauma & Acute Care Surgery Clinical Team consists of surgeons, advanced practitioners and clinical staff specializing in general surgery, trauma and surgical critical care medicine. This team provides and coordinates care for trauma and acute care surgery patients throughout the entire care continuum, including the Emergency Department, Operating Room, Intensive Care Unit, surgical floor and outpatient clinic.

The Orthopaedic Trauma & Reconstructive Surgery Team (OTRST) provides care to trauma patients with orthopaedic injuries. The team consists of orthopaedic surgeons and advanced practitioners with specialized trauma training in the care of patients with complex orthopaedic injuries such as fractures, fractures near joints and pelvic fractures. Our experienced orthopedic surgeons, advanced practice providers and ambulatory clinical staff have extensive specialized orthopedic trauma training.

(OTRST) Orthopaedic Surgeons:

  • Blake Burkert, MD
  • Thomas Darden, MD
  • Melissa Lawrence, DO
  • Nur Nurbhai, MD
  • Eddie Powell, II,  MD
  • Troy Skidmore, DO
  • Aniefiok Uyoe, MD
  • Mark Wolgin, MD

What is a Trauma Center?

Although an emergency room also treats ill and injured patients, a trauma center is specifically equipped and staffed to treat severe, life-threatening injuries, including blunt force and penetrating trauma. Each trauma center is part of a larger system that uses state and local resources — hospitals and specialized equipment, physicians, surgeons, healthcare staff, ambulances, helicopters,
paramedics, and emergency management teams — to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients. Trauma centers grew out of the realization that traumatic injury requires experienced physicians and surgeons who specialize in multidisciplinary treatments and specialized resources available 24 hours a day.

Level II Trauma Center

Phoebe Putney manages trauma patients through criteria for a Level II trauma center. There are four levels of trauma centers defined by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma each with their own requirements:

Level I is the highest level of trauma center verification. In addition to providing clinical care, Level I centers have responsibilities related to trauma medical education and trauma research. Most centers that meet Level I criteria are academic facilities that have active surgical residency programs.

Level II centers generally provide the same level of clinical care as a Level I, but usually do not focus on medical education or trauma research. Some patients with very complex injuries may require transfer to a Level I center.

Level III centers provide trauma assessment, resuscitation, emergency surgery, and stabilization. They are not required to have all the surgical sub-specialties as Level I and II centers and, therefore, will transfer patients to Level I or II centers when appropriate.

Level IV centers provide advanced life support, stabilization, and the ability to transfer patients to Level I or II centers. A Level IV center may be a clinic or hospital in a remote area and may or may not have a physician available 24 hours a day.