July 27, 2020—After serving as the administrative support behind the Coalition for National Trauma Research (CNTR) since its founding in 2014, the National Trauma Institute (NTI) has officially reorganized as CNTR. The shift empowers the organization to grow a broader coalition and build momentum toward its sizable goals: funding for trauma research commensurate with the burden of disease and establishment of a National Institute of Trauma within the National Institutes of Health.
As one of the founding members of CNTR, NTI has been responsible for managing an annual Trauma Research Advocacy Day in Washington, preparing proposals and managing multi-center studies on behalf of the coalition, and establishing research infrastructure such as the National Trauma Research Repository to benefit all trauma investigators.
Building on NTI’s accomplishments—with a cumulative $90 million in federal and state funding secured for the trauma research community since 2006—CNTR will continue as a national research coordinating center, prioritizing projects proposed by its Core and Stakeholder members.
“Considering CNTR’s early successes in advocating for new trauma research program funding within the Department of Defense and securing grants for several large projects like the National Trauma Research Action Plan, we knew a broader coalition of trauma care stakeholders could help bring us to the next level,” explained Rosemary Kozar, MD, Chair of the NTI Board. “Combining the firepower of societies that represent a wide variety of surgical disciplines and other care groups across the trauma continuum can help us secure a national home for trauma research.”
With the investment of its member organizations, CNTR seeks to solve a problem more than 50 years in the making: the staggering public health burden of traumatic injury resulting from the lack of a coordinated and federally funded research effort.
“With a vision of eliminating preventable death and disability after injury, the ACS Committee on Trauma views research as the key to improving care for injured patients and enthusiastically supports the mission of CNTR,” said Eileen M. Bulger, MD, Member of the CNTR Board, and Chair of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma (ACS-COT). “As traumatic injury is the leading cause of death and disability for our children, our uniformed service personnel, and all Americans up to age 45, the time is now to invest in a coordinated research strategy.”
David A. Spain, MD, President of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST), said CNTR’s focus on research is fundamental to the mission of all the organizations. “Over the last several years, NTI and CNTR have been integral partners, along with AAST and other founding members, in advancing research into the care of the injured patient. The restructuring of these efforts into a single entity will now allow CNTR to continue its success in advocating for and obtaining funding for injury-related research.”
The engagement of the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST) in the coalition also dovetails with its own mission to provide leadership and development for young surgeons through interdisciplinary collaboration, scholarship and fellowship.
“As a Core member of CNTR, we support the investigation of trauma prevention, research and improved trauma systems design in efforts to enable and stimulate future generations of surgeons to meet the challenges in trauma care,” said EAST President A. Britton Christmas, MD.
In addition to the initial founders of CNTR—AAST, ACS-COT, EAST, and Western Trauma Association (WTA)—the American Burn Association (ABA) has joined as a Core member. “ABA is proud to join forces with CNTR to further foster burn and trauma research,” said Bill Hickerson, MD, ABA President. “Federal funding for burn and trauma research is severely lacking. These types of injuries often impact people in their prime, where research to improve outcomes can have a long-term impact on quality of life.”
New Stakeholder members include the American Trauma Society (ATS), Orthopedic Trauma Association (OTA),Society of Trauma Nurses (STN), and the Military Health System Strategic Partnership at the American College of Surgeons (MHSSPACS). All bring unique strengths and a variety of invested groups to the CNTR mission. The inclusion of the trauma survivor perspective to CNTR’s research and advocacy efforts is particularly meaningful. “The ATS is excited to be partnering with CNTR to ensure the inclusion of survivors in trauma research,” said Anna Newcomb, PhD, LCSW, ATS President. “Our Trauma Survivors Network extends into 130 hospitals across the country, enabling us to engage survivors from a wide range of backgrounds.”
The mission of the Coalition of National Trauma is to enhance trauma research by advocating for sustainable research funding commensurate with the burden of disease, coordinating research efforts across professional organizations spanning the continuum of injury care, and strengthening the infrastructure for multicenter investigation. Find CNTR at NatTrauma.org and on Twitter at @NatTrauma.