PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Naval Medical Center Portsmouth is now a Level II trauma center, and can start accepting local trauma patients who aren’t in the military.

The Navy’s first and oldest continuously operating hospital recently received the designation from the Virginia Department of Health and will be able accept trauma patients from local hospitals beginning on Friday.

“This Trauma Center verification affirms our commitment to being a community partner and resource to care for critically injured patients,” said Capt. Brian Feldman, Director of NMCP. “This historic accomplishment is the result of the vision, dedication, and teamwork of a group of incredible healthcare professionals. They have maintained a commitment to the resources, processes and continuous performance improvement required to ensure optimal care for injured patients here in Portsmouth and in austere environments around the world.”

The addition of Naval Medical Center Portsmouth means there are now nine Level II trauma centers in Virginia. The other in Hampton Roads is Riverside Regional Medical Center on the Peninsula.

Sentara Norfolk General Hospital is the only Level I trauma center, the top designation for trauma units, in Hampton Roads.