Skip to Content

Trauma Survivors Reunited with UPMC Teams That Saved Their Lives


May 21, 2024

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – When a trauma victim enters the hospital after a life-altering event, his or her future can be uncertain. Car crashes, biking accidents, and head injuries are just a few of the scenarios that can place a person’s life in jeopardy. UPMC recently recognized National Trauma Awareness Month and National Trauma Survivors Day (May 15) by reuniting trauma survivors and their families with the medical teams that took care of them following the accidents that brought them to UPMC Williamsport.

“Since receiving our Level II Trauma Center designation in 2021, our care teams have helped save countless lives. On average, we’ve provided care to 1,300 individuals annually with a 98% survival rate,” said Ronen Elefant, M.D., trauma surgeon and medical director, Trauma Services, UPMC of North Central Pa. “While those are exceptional numbers when it comes to our clinical expertise, the real impact and value of this program is evident in our survivors. Getting to host events like this where we celebrate those who do the hardest work in any trauma program – the survivors and their support persons – helps us realize the value of every life saved. Seeing their faces, talking with them, and observing their recovery reminds us of what our work is about and how even making an impact on one life makes it all worthwhile.”

During the event, Dr. Elefant and other members of the Trauma Services team spoke of the importance of having a local Trauma Center and UPMC Williamsport’s almost decade-long journey to designation. Trauma survivors and their guests in attendance were presented with tulip bouquets and a stained-glass purple tulip handcrafted by Trauma team members.

“The Trauma Survivors Network, a program of the American Trauma Society, uses a red tulip as a symbol of the pain, suffering, and lifestyle changes caused by traumatic injury, not only for the survivor, but also their families, friends, and others that care about them,” said Amanda Raymond, manager, Trauma Services, UPMC in North Central Pa. “As a member of the Trauma Survivors Network, we wanted to use this symbol in a special way for our event. At UPMC, everything is purple, so our team came up with the idea to create purple stained-glass tulips for our survivors. This is our first occasion to celebrate here, and we’re looking forward to many more yearly gatherings to come. We will continue to celebrate individuals who, against the odds, have not just survived but are now thriving.”

UPMC Williamsport is one of just three trauma centers in the 12-county region of north central Pennsylvania. It is UPMC’s sixth accredited trauma center in the Commonwealth. Others include UPMC Altoona, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, UPMC Hamot, UPMC Mercy, and UPMC Presbyterian.

“Years ago, UPMC in North Central Pa. made the bold decision to build a trauma program, and our teams worked tirelessly for years to grow and develop the services we offer today,” said Patti Jackson-Gehris, president, UPMC in North Central Pa. and UPMC Williamsport. “At UPMC, we use the phrase ‘life changing medicine’ a lot and one would only need to look around the room at an event like this and see our survivors to understand what it really means. They have experienced life-altering events and come so far in their recovery which to me is life-changing medicine in action. Access to quality trauma care is not a luxury, it is essential, and I’m proud of what we’re doing here with our program to serve so many communities in north central Pennsylvania.”

Adding trauma service capabilities is part of UPMC’s continuing investment to advance specialty care in the region. For more information on UPMC Williamsport’s Trauma Services, visit

NCPA Trauma Survivors Reception Survivors and Team
At UPMC, everything is purple, so our team came up with the idea to create purple stained-glass tulips for our survivors.
For Journalists

Tyler Wagner

Appointments, Patient Information

Want to Make an Appointment or Need Patient Information? Contact UPMC at 1-800-533-8762.

Go to Find a Doctor to search for a UPMC provider.