Since 1984, Regional One Health’s Elvis Presley Trauma Center has built a legacy of providing lifesaving care to the most critically injured patients in the Mid-South. Nearly four decades later, it continues to enhance its capacity to provide exceptional trauma care.
For one trauma center leader, the past, present and future are a matter of coming full circle.
Andy Kerwin, MD, FACS, DABS joined the Elvis Presley Trauma Center as Chief of Trauma this spring, bringing him back to the facility where he trained as a fellow two decades ago under trauma center founder Timothy Fabian, MD.
“They really pioneered trauma care,” Dr. Kerwin says of early trauma center leaders like Dr. Fabian and Martin Croce, MD, now Regional One Health Chief Medical Officer. “They set the standard of trauma care, so when I looked at the opportunity of coming here, to be able to take over and lead after they had done all this and established this legacy and to be able to enhance the pioneering care that they’ve done over the years was really appealing to me.”
Dr. Kerwin leads a multidisciplinary team that provides lifesaving care for patients at one of the nation’s busiest Level-1 Trauma Centers.
As a level-1 facility, the Elvis Presley Trauma Center is the designated trauma center for the most critically injured patients from a 150-mile radius. The facility is available around-the-clock to care for patients from Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas and Missouri.
“There’s a good deal of emotion involved in it, bonding with some of these patients and the families, taking them when they’re really having their worst day ever and having a chance to really provide high-quality care and get them back to being restored to doing the things that they were doing before,” Dr. Kerwin said. “It gives you a great deal of joy to see that happen and to know that you’re doing good work for the community.”
Dr. Kerwin is board-certified in surgery and surgical critical care. He earned his medical degree at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and completed his residency at Medical College of Ohio along with his fellowship at University of Tennessee Health Science Center.
In his academic role, he is division chief for trauma and surgical critical care in the UTHSC department of surgery and a professor in the department of surgery. His research has appeared in The Journal of Trauma, Injury, Infection & Critical Care; Journal of Investigative Surgery; American Surgeon; Surgery; Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery; and Journal of the American College of Surgeons. He has written book chapters on topics such as trauma systems, triage and transport; identification of spinal fractures; and abdominal and perineal injury.
Dr. Kerwin is a member of the Society of Critical Care Medicine, American College of Surgeons, American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, and American College of Surgeons.