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March 19, 2018–Following a lobbying effort by members of the Coalition for National Trauma Research (CNTR) in February, House members Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Will Hurd (TX-23), Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02) and Joseph Kennedy III (MA-04) took the lead on a request for funding, authoring a letter to the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee in support of a National Trauma Research Action Plan (NTRAP). Because of their leadership, another 55 members of the House of Representatives also signed the letter addressed to the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Kay Granger and Ranking Member Peter J. Visclosky.

The $9.2 million request to fund the NTRAP follows a recommendation arising from a 2016 report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM). The NASEM report calls for a goal of zero preventable deaths and disability after injury. An NTRAP would “strengthen trauma research and ensure that the resources available for this research are commensurate with the importance of injury and the potential for improvement in patient outcomes,” say the report’s authors.

In their letter to the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, the 59 lawmakers say, “It is time for Congress to put these sound recommendations into practice, and we believe this request will fully fund such a NASEM-recommended plan for future trauma research, leading to the stated goal of zero preventable trauma deaths.”

The funding has been requested for the FY2019 budget, and NTI and CNTR are hopeful that with such widespread support, the funding will be included in the final spending bill. The House Appropriations Committee considers all such member requests when crafting the spending bills that will eventually be voted on by the full House toward the end of the year.

Read Representative Castro’s Press Release.

-by Pam Bixby,