UC Davis Burn Center achieves re-verification for meeting the highest standards of care


The Firefighters Burn Institute Regional Burn Center - UC Davis has received re-verification as an Adult Burn Center from the American Burn Association (ABA). The ABA offers this distinguished recognition to burn centers meeting the highest current standards of care for burn-injured patients.

UC Davis Health provides excellence in burn care
UC Davis Health provides excellence in burn care

“The verification is a true mark of distinction for a burn center and an indicator of the high-quality patient care it provides to burn patients from the time of injury through rehabilitation,” said Tina Palmieri, Burn Center Medical Director. “We are so proud of the whole team at the burn center. Their efforts and commitment made this recognition possible.”

The ABA verification review committee highlighted the center’s many strengths.

“We commend the Firefighters Burn Institute Regional Burn Center - UC Davis for its commitment to excellence and its dedication to providing quality burn care to patients,” they wrote.

The committee also recognized the tremendous support the center has from the UC Davis academic and hospital community and its leadership team.

Leadership and partnerships

The reviewers praised the center’s outstanding retention, the continuity of its leadership and its great interdisciplinary collaborations.

“The UC Davis Burn Center is nationally known for its exceptional team of physicians, nurses and therapists, led by Dr. David Greenhalgh and Dr. Tine Palmieri, both past ABA presidents,” said Brad Simmons, chief administrator of UC Davis Medical Center and UC Davis Children’s Hospital. “It is an outstanding center in its pursuit of excellence in burn treatment, research and service.”

The assessment team pointed to the strong coordination between the burn center and experts in other fields such as anesthesia and infectious diseases. These collaborations are “tremendously innovative and may lead to improvements in burn protocols and standards of burn care.”

Recently, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses recognized the burn unit with the Gold Beacon Award for no central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs), a serious complication that occurs when germs enter the bloodstream through the central venous catheter.

Service and outreach

The UC Davis Burn Center developed the burn disaster triage diagram that is now used in burn disasters across the nation, It has served as the primary center for triage and treatment of Northern California wildfire patients, especially the Tubbs and Camp Fires. It conducts community outreach and training in burn care and prevention.

In 2020, the Burn Center treated around 1,600 adult patients and provided 300 emergency room evaluations. Its admissions approached 500 adults. One out of five admitted had severe burns covering more than a third of their body.

The Burn Center has excellent outreach and peer support initiatives, such as the Phoenix Survivors Offering Assistance in Recovery (SOAR) program. SOAR, designed by The Phoenix Society, addresses the needs of burn patients and their families by providing one-on-one peer support and mentoring during the journey of recovery. This program is in partnership with the Firefighter’s Burn Institute.

Research at the Burn Center

The center boasts an excellent research program with many federally funded studies. As a leader in burn research, it receives ongoing funding of more than $12 million from the Department of Defense each year. It leads multicenter trials in resuscitation, early mobility and complex burn and trauma injury.

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