An area hospital is now one of an elite few to have operated a certified burn center for two decades.

University Medical Center’s Timothy J. Harnar Burn Center has been verified by the American Burn Association for the 5th time, making it one of only three burn centers in the country to be verified for 20 consecutive years.

Burn Center Medical Director Dr. John Griswold said “We have a host of dedicated staff that helps to take care of these very sick patients.”

The UMC burn center is the only burn center between Dallas and Phoenix, and is one of 45 regional burn centers in the country. The center treats around 400 patients annually, and about 40 percent are children.