WakeMed Health & Hospitals dedicated this week its Raleigh Campus Level I Trauma Center and Emergency Departments as the Raymond L. Champ Centers for Emergency Medicine. A special dedication ceremony was held in Champ’s honor on Thursday.
Champ served as WakeMed’s president and chief executive officer from 1983 to 2003. The county’s only trauma service and a freestanding Children’s Emergency Department, both located on Raleigh Campus, were two of the dedicated services established under Champ’s leadership. Today, Raleigh Campus is home to Wake County’s only Level I Trauma Center, and the Raleigh Campus adult and Children’s Emergency Departments are collectively the busiest emergency departments in the state.
When Champ joined WakeMed in December 1983, it was a 576-bed hospital system with one full service acute care hospital. Under his leadership, WakeMed grew to a 752-bed multi-facility health care system with specialties in cardiology, orthopaedics, trauma, women’s and children’s services and neurosciences featuring a 68-bed physical rehabilitation hospital, a 114-bed full service community hospital in Cary, and smaller facilities in Fuquay-Varina and Zebulon.
Also during his tenure, WakeMed established the county’s only trauma service, the state’s first dedicated Children’s Emergency Department, North Carolina’s busiest heart center including a hotel for patients and their families, a pediatric intensive care unit, and an outpatient facility in northern Wake county that would become the location for the state’s first stand-alone emergency department.
Champ’s two decades of leadership laid the foundation for future innovations, including the addition of a Children’s Hospital, the advancement to a Level I Trauma Center, construction of three full-service, stand-alone emergency departments, as well as the addition of many inpatient beds, new services and outpatient facilities throughout the system.