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About the Bryan Trauma Program

In 1976, James Styner, MD, a Lincoln orthopedic surgeon, his wife and four children were in a plane crash.  Sadly, Dr. Styner's wife died at the crash scene. He managed to get his children to a rural hospital, but found the emergency department locked, with no physicians on duty. Dr. Styner and his children were fortunate to survive a 10-hour wait to reach definitive care at Lincoln General Hospital, now Bryan Medical Center at Bryan West Campus.

In 1978, Dr. Styner, along with Paul Collicott, MD, general and peripheral vascular surgeon, and other interested physicians started discussing the idea of a fully integrated trauma center. By June 1981, what was then Lincoln General Hospital, was verified as a Level II Trauma Center.

Besides the development of a successful trauma system for Southeast Nebraska, the Trauma Center is committed to advancing the care of critically injured patients outside of the state.

Because of Dr. Styner's experience, the Trauma Center helped pioneer the international Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) program. The ATLS course is the leading educational program used to train physicians in the key concepts of assessment and stabilization of critically injured patients. Dr. Collicott and Dr. Styner led a committee of Lincoln physicians who developed the ATLS course, which was adopted by the American College of Surgeons in 1979 as a trauma educational program for physicians. The course is taught internationally and continues to expand around the world. Today over 1.5 million providers have taken the course in over 63 countries.

Trauma Registry

Bryan developed the first Trauma Registry in Nebraska in 1985. It is a comprehensive data collection system comprising information from more than 25,000 trauma patients at Bryan. This information includes demographics, injuries, treatments, complications, outcomes and follow-up.

The registry tracks trauma trends over time and provides data to The National Trauma Databank for research projects in trauma care. Registry information is used by trauma professionals to develop patient care standards and direct performance improvement initiatives, to create education programs for the public on safety and injury prevention and to impact legislation.


If you would like information on the Trauma Registry, contact Deb Schleiger, CSTR, Trauma Registry Coordinator at 402-481-5658.

Trauma Performance Improvement Program

An important role of a Trauma Center is to ensure that trauma patients continue to heal and recover. The Trauma Registry provides data that is used within the Performance Improvement Program to evaluate the care given.

A team of trauma professionals meets regularly to review the quality of care and identify issues that affect patient care. Once these issues are identified, the team develops recommendations, which may include creating educational programs and treatment guidelines and protocols based on current trauma research and practice.

If you would like information on the Trauma Performance Improvement Program, contact Jennifer Middlekauff, Trauma Performance Improvement Nurse at 402-481-4145.

Trauma Outreach and Injury Prevention Program

Our program offers many avenues for education and outreach. We visit schools, civic groups and other community organizations, as well as offer our own presentations on topics ranging from:
  • Youth violence prevention
  • Importance of not texting a driving
  • Importance of wearing seat belts
  • Bicycle safety helmets
  • Fall prevention
We also provide continuing education to emergency medical personnel and help hospitals in other communities enhance their trauma/emergency services.

If you would like to arrange a visit to discuss how to enhance your trauma/emergency services, contact Heather Talbott, Trauma Outreach and Injury Prevention Coordinator at 402-481-4087.
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