Archive for the ‘Coalition for National Trauma Research’ Category

Op-ed in JAMA Surgery Decries Limited Funding for Trauma Research

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

Despite significant advances made in U.S. trauma care and systems over the past 50 years, traumatic injury continues to be an unacceptable and increasing societal burden, argues Kimberly Davis, MD, in an opinion piece published in JAMA Surgery in December. Davis is a professor in the Dept. of Surgery at Yale University and a member of the executive committee of CNTR, the Coalition for National Trauma Research. The National Trauma Institute is a member of CNTR.

Davis and co-authors Timothy Fabian, MD, and William Cioffi, MD, point to the lack of a centralized national home and stable funding stream for trauma research to explain how this public health problem has reached epidemic proportions. “…[S]ince 1966 the mortality rate has increased 0.66% per year,” they say. And the annual costs are astronomical: $214 billion for fatal traumatic injury and $457 billion for non-fatal injuries, including healthcare and lost productivity.

Davis et al. consider the billions of dollars in research funding directed toward Ebola and Zika–both serious public health issues in recent years, yet neither impacting the United States to any degree–and wonder about the lack of attention paid to trauma. “It is shocking that nearly 150,000 deaths every year do not warrant a similar response.”

Read the article. (doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2016.4625)

CNTR’s First DoD Research Proposal to be Funded

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

With a recently announced $4 million Department of Defense grant, the Coalition for National Trauma Research (CNTR) begins an intensive investigation into the causes and mechanisms of U.S. deaths that occur outside of hospital settings. NTI is a coalition member.

The project, officially called Multi-Institutional Multidisciplinary Injury Mortality Investigation in the Civilian Pre-Hospital Environment (MIMIC), aims to evaluate the causes and pathophysiologic mechanisms of pre-hospital deaths in order to determine survivability by mechanism of injury and the appropriateness of EMS response and the care delivered.

Brian J. Eastridge, MD, Clinical Professor of Surgery at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio and a Colonel in the U.S. Army, is the principal investigator for the MIMIC project. During his active duty service, Dr. Eastridge was the Trauma Consultant to the U.S. Army Surgeon General and co-developer and Director of the Joint Trauma System. His work analyzing causes of combat death, published in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery in 2012, determined that 25 percent of those casualties had injuries that were potentially survivable. The MIMIC grant enables a comparable analysis of civilian death.

In partnership with the National Association of Medical Examiners, MIMIC will engage 60-75 clinician/reviewers to form study panels that will review 3,000 pre-hospital deaths in six diverse states and regions across the country. CNTR will also partner with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, whose Data Coordinating Center will be employed for data analysis.

The Coalition for National Trauma Research (CNTR) includes the country’s five leading trauma organizations: American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, National Trauma Institute, Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, ACS Committee on Trauma and the Western Trauma Association. As CNTR, these organizations seek consistent and significant federal funding for trauma research, build trauma research infrastructure and advocate for a centralized research agenda to prioritize work in the discipline. Visit CoalitionNTR.org for more information.

Congressional Support for Trauma Clinical Research Program Increases

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

Following the second annual Trauma Research Advocacy Day on February 23, 2016, 15 Senators and 69 Representatives signed letters to their Appropriations Subcommittees, urging support for the Trauma Clinical Research Program in the Department of Defense Health Program FY17 budget.

The surgeons–all members of organizations that make up the Coalition for National Trauma Research (CNTR)–had provided Congressional offices with information about the toll of trauma in the U.S. and the new DoD program, which provides for the creation of a military/civilian trauma research network to address some of the most challenging issues in the treatment of trauma. In a white paper explaining the program, the advocates asked for another $20 million to be added to the $10 million appropriated in the FY16 spending bill in order to get the program off the ground.

CNTR was able to secure the sponsorship of Senator Christopher Murphy (D-CT) for the Dear Colleague letter to the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee—in the end, signed by 15 senators from 12 states.

The Dear Colleague letter to the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee–sponsored for the second year in a row by Representatives Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD)–garnered 69 House member signatures (20 more than last year’s letter) from 25 states and the District of Columbia.

With support from 15% of the Senate and 16% of the House of Representatives, CNTR is hopeful that its request for funding will be accepted. The outcome of the FY17 appropriations process will not be known until the end of 2016.

Read the Dear Colleague letters and see who signed them on the CNTR website.

Surgeons Hit Capitol Hill to Talk about Trauma

Friday, March 4th, 2016

Dr. Tom Scalea and Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger.

Last week 27 trauma surgeons from across the country visited members of their state Congressional delegations to persuade them to support additional funding of the Trauma Clinical Research Program in the Department of Defense Health Program. All told, the surgeons made more than 150 visits to both Senate and House offices.

The effort was made possible by the Coalition for National Trauma Research, of which NTI is a member.

In addition to their individual meetings, the trauma surgeons heard from Representative Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02), one of CNTR’s champions who is sponsoring a letter to the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee asking for consideration of the Trauma Clinical Research Program. Ruppersberger, whose life was saved by trauma surgeons at Maryland’s Shock Trauma Center years ago following an automobile crash, spoke to the group as a long-time supporter of their work and unwavering champion in the House of Representatives.

Drs. Ronald Stewart, William Cioffi and Donald Jenkins gave presentations during a trauma briefing organized by COL Bob Mabry, serving this year as a Robert Woods Johnson Fellow in the Health Subcommittee of the House Committee on Education & The Workforce.

It will be many months before the trauma advocates learn whether their efforts to secure a $20 million appropriation for the clinical research program are successful. The program was initially launched with internal DoD funding and received a $10 million appropriation in FY16. CNTR, working closely with a DoD work group, has begun to identify priorities and has already coalesced a group of 140 trauma centers across the country willing to be part of a trials network that can respond to DoD research requests.

CNTR Advocacy Results in $10 Million for Trauma Clinical Research Program

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

On Friday, December 18th, the U.S. Congress passed a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill for 2016 and sent it to President Obama, who signed the bill into law that afternoon. The measure includes $10 million in the 2016 Department of Defense (DoD) Health Program account for a national Trauma Clinical Research Program.

Advocates from the Coalition for National Trauma Research (CNTR) had requested funding for the program, which will create a coordinated, multi-institution, clinical research network to advance experience with and study of military-relevant topics in trauma care and trauma systems. The network of research centers sought by the Department of Defense will investigate improved treatments for traumatic injuries suffered by our soldiers, many of which are similar to the injuries suffered by civilians on a massive scale, including those injuries related to vehicle collisions and violence.

“Trauma has become one of the gravest and most costly health problems in America,” said William Cioffi, MD, a professor and Chair of Surgery at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and past president of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST), a CNTR member. “The national Trauma Clinical Research Program will, for the first time, coalesce resources and focus on a national agenda so that research centers can collectively arrive at solutions to the biggest challenges.”

“Collaborative efforts between military and civilian trauma practitioners have the ability to rapidly advance our understanding of injury care,” added Thomas Scalea, MD, immediate past president of AAST, professor of Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Physician in Chief at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. “We have been privileged to train military personnel at my institution for many years, and that partnership has produced better care for soldiers and for our civilian patients. This funding represents a huge step forward in that military/civilian partnership, and all of us at CNTR were delighted to support this. We all look forward to seeing tangible results that help save lives over a relatively short period of time.”

The Coalition for National Trauma Research (CNTR), a 501 c3 non-profit organization, was launched in 2014 with the goal to secure federal funding for trauma-related research. “Trauma research has never been funded adequately compared to the societal burden of traumatic injury,” said Jerry Jurkovich, MD, chair of the National Trauma Institute, another CNTR member. “We’re grateful for the leadership of Maryland Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger and Texas Congressmen Joaquin Castro and Lamar Smith, who were instrumental in gaining the signatures of nearly 50 members of the U.S. House of Representatives on a letter of support for this measure to the Appropriations Committee.”

CNTR comprises the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, National Trauma Institute, Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, American College of Surgeons-Committee on Trauma and Western Trauma Association. To learn more, visit CoalitionNTR.org.

Trauma Research Lacks NIH Investment

Friday, January 30th, 2015

“The diseases that affect the most Americans don’t always attract more research funding from the government,” declares a January 15, 2015 article on Vox. Indeed, the chart provided by Dot Data Blog illustrating the difference between the percent of total NIH funding and the percent of total burden of disease for 27 disease categories shows conditions like asthma, stroke and–notably–trauma (injuries) receiving a disproportionately small investment in research.

“This articulates loudly – and puts data behind – the fact that when viewed in the context of burden (morbidity and mortality) to society, trauma and injury is at the bottom of the scale,” noted Sharon Smith, NTI’s executive director.  ”If the scale were to include a Quality Adjusted Life Year analysis, the disproportion would be even more apparent.”

The article highlights a disparity that is decades in the making and leaves many essential research questions unanswered. Click here to read snippets from national reports since 1966 that call for more funding that has never been granted.

NTI and the other national organizations who are part of the Coalition for National Trauma Research (CNTR) head to Capitol Hill next month to advocate for increased funding.