Beebe Releases $200K to Fund Trauma System

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Gov. Mike Beebe released $200,000 from the governor's emergency fund today to help lay the groundwork for a trauma system in Arkansas.

Beebe says the money will be used to help communication and coordination among the state's hospital and emergency medical providers.  Beebe says the money will also help establish a statewide trauma registry to identify future needs as an overall system develops.

Officials say Arkansas is the only state without a unified trauma system.  Currently, many of the serious trauma cases are sent to The Med in Memphis.

Lawmakers supported the idea of a statewide trauma system during the 2007 session but failed to find a way to pay the $25 million cost.  The House favored increasing some court fees.  The Senate supported adding a fee to auto insurance premiums.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)