First-Class Service

The CHRISTUS Spohn Trauma Center: bringing the cutting edge to South Texas

By: Steven Alford
Photo by: Steven Alford

When three members of the Corpus Christi SWAT Team were shot while serving a warrant at a home, emergency responders rushed them to the CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Memorial Trauma Center. There, trauma surgeons, emergency room physicians and nurses leapt into action to care for the officers as their fellow police and family rushed to the region’s lead trauma center to be by their side.

Because of the high-quality care they received, all three officers were released within days and have since recovered. Corpus Christi Police officials were so grateful that they returned a week later with flowers and “thank you” cards, and took time to pose for pictures with the clinicians who saved the officers’ lives.

“The level of care displayed by the CHRISTUS Spohn Trauma team was outstanding and very much appreciated,” said Commander Michael Alanis of the Corpus Christi Police Department. “Not only did they care for our officers, they explained everything to our command staff. We cannot thank them enough for their concern of our officers.”

While CHRISTUS Spohn Health System provides emergency services at each of its six hospitals in the Coastal Bend, CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Memorial is the region’s only Level II Trauma Center, offering 24-hour coverage of all injuries by board-certified trauma surgeons and specialists.

“Being able to deliver first-class service to our community is our mission, and the Corpus Christi Police Department is an integral part of our community,” said CHRISTUS Spohn Trauma medical director, Dr. Osbert Blow.

The CHRISTUS Spohn Trauma Center is more than just a leader in providing care to injured patients; it also provides ongoing educational opportunities for health care professionals and the public, and implements injury prevention programs.

This past year, the trauma center has hosted the Annual Trauma Awareness Conference and the National Advanced Trauma Life Support course, bringing surgeons, emergency physicians, nurses and pre-hospital personnel from around the state to discuss the latest in trauma techniques and technology.

The CHRISTUS Spohn Trauma Team also works with area students, giving them an inside peek into what trauma surgeons and nurses experience with the hopes of inspiring the next generation of trauma surgeons in South Texas.

But there is certainly more to come for the CHRISTUS Spohn Trauma Center. With the expansion of CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Shoreline, an unprecedented $275 million investment from CHRISTUS Health and local philanthropists, the Coastal Bend will receive a new, state-of-the-art Level II Trauma Center located right on Ocean Drive.

“We look forward to the consolidation and being able to continue to provide the highest level of trauma care at our new state-of-the-art trauma center,” Blow said.

It’s an exciting time for the Coastal Bend, and CHRISTUS Spohn Health System is enthusiastic about this new chapter in health care for the Coastal Bend as the project gets underway this summer.


To learn more about the CHRISTUS Spohn Trauma team, please visit

The CHRISTUS Spohn Trauma Team surgeons: David Johnson, M.D.; Jimie D. Owsley, M.D.; Rishi Dholakia, M.D.; Matthew Ficenec, M.D.; Osbert Blow, M.D.; David Kerek, D.O.; and Ann McCracken, M.D.

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