SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The University of Utah announced that their Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine has adopted a new Department of Emergency Medicine through a press release sent out on Feb. 2.

As stated in the document, the emergency medicine program at U of U was previously a smaller division within the Department of Surgery. Now, the program takes the title of the college’s twenty-third department.

The press release explains how in order for the division to earn departmental status, the emergency medicine program had to achieve specific requirements in education, research, and clinical care and had to receive formal approvals from the School of Medicine Executive Committee, the Academic Senate, and the school’s Board of Trustees.

“We are deeply appreciative of the hard work of our faculty, and the support of our colleagues throughout the School of Medicine who helped to make the transition to Department of Emergency Medicine a reality,” says Christy Hopkins in the U of U press release, who will serve as Interim Department Chair and Medical Director of Integrated Emergency Services at University of Utah Health. “We look forward to using this opportunity to bolster future research endeavors, expand EM training programs and undergraduate medical education efforts, and deepen our commitment to provide compassionate emergency care to patients throughout the Mountain West.”

Earning departmental status will support the department in raising its national presence and strengthening its ability to compete at the highest levels for recruitment, retention, collaboration, and research funding, according to U of U’s statement.

As disclosed by college officials, the Emergency Medicine Department at the U of U tends to over 80,000 patients in Utah and Wyoming each year.

In collaboration with EMS directorships, the U of U press release disclosed that the department cares for over 1.2 million Salt Lake Valley residents, and provides air medical attention and transportation to one of the largest basins in America.

The school’s Emergency Medicine Division is run by a diverse and innovative staff, as stated in the press release, delivering a wide range of expertise to the division, including global medicine, wilderness medicine, toxicology, and clinical trials.