Gov. Mike Beebe, along with state lawmakers and health officials, will announce Tuesday the first facilities to be designated as trauma centers.
The trauma system was signed into law by Beebe in March 2009. It was envisioned as a network connecting hospitals, ambulance services and other emergency responders statewide with the goal of providing specialized medical care as quickly as possible after someone is involved in a car wreck, shooting or other traumatic injury.
The money to pay for the system comes from an increase in cigarette and tobacco taxes that took effect in 2009.
Arkansas' system of emergency care received a D- in the 2008 National Report Card of the State of Emergency Medicine because of the lack of coordination among hospitals statewide. According to the report, Arkansas was the only state without a designated/verified trauma center at the time the report was published.