New Trauma Medical Director for Alegent Has Big Plans for Violence Prevention

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New Trauma Medical Director for Alegent Has Big Plans for Violence Prevention

By Meghan Matthews. CREATED Jul 29, 2014

Omaha, NE - "Now this is my favorite, the cross clamp aorta."

In trauma bay two of Alegent Creighton's Trauma Center, Dr. Juan Asensio grips the cross clamp. It's an instrument he's used thousands of times.

"Through here come interpersonal violence, vehicular violence, alcohol, drug abuse, spousal abuse."

Trauma surgeons, like Dr. Asensio, sculpt living tissue. In here, time is precious; some survive, many don't.

On the third floor emergency ambulances park and roll their patients in. Trauma surgeons will have seconds to make life saving decisions.

"I saw a lot of people get killed at an early age, and I thought this was the most noble thing that I could do is to try to save lives", said Asensio.

Alegent's new Trauma Director hasn't officially started yet, but he's already at work.

"We want to make sure that they don't arrive here."

With a strong medicine of his own he tries to save patients before they're rolled in with violence prevention.

"L.A., Miami, Philadelphia. It's worked in a lot of different places. It's worked in other countries."

Dr. Asensio has already met with Omaha law enforcement, city and religious leaders. He doesn't want a teenager on his operating table.

"If I've just opened some young man's chest from a gunshot wound, I'm going to have a special bond with that young person and I'm gonna talk to him and engage him and find out why this happened."

He talks with at risk kids. 18,000 so far. Dr. Asensio shows them pictures of wounds, what violence looks like.

"We hopefully get the patient stabilized, and off to the operating room for definitive therapy."

Hoping to help change the metro inside the ER, and beyond.

Dr. Asensio has been featured on 60 Minutes on CBS for his work. He's published 22 text books, received millions of dollars in grant research and traveled to more than 80 countries. His first day on the job is Friday.