At a Wednesday afternoon news conference, Nebraska Medical Center officials announced plans to expand its trauma services in August.

“This is the right thing to do for everyone who lives here,” says P.J. Schenarts, trauma medical director at the Medical Center. “Although the trauma system we’ve used for the last 20 years is functional, we think we have an obligation to provide something more.”

Since 1993, the Nebraska Medical Center has worked cooperatively with Alegent Creighton Health Creighton University Medical Center in a combined trauma system. The joint program results in two part-time trauma centers that, Medical Center officials say can't be recognized by the American College of Surgeons.

The decision means the end of the shared trauma responsibilities.  Rosanna Morris, chief operating officer and chief nursing officer of the Medical Center says “We have the resources and infrastructure in place to establish a dedicated trauma program. The timing is right. Level 1 trauma centers provide the highest quality of care to injured patients. It’s our duty to do everything we can to provide them with that.”

Alegent Creighton University Medical Center officials say they will also offer a 24/7 trauma center, but specific details are still being worked out.