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Dr. Ronald Stewart hands the COT baton to Dr. Eileen Bulger.

Eileen Bulger, MD, a member of the NTI Board of Directors, was recently appointed as Chair of the American College of Surgeons Committee of Trauma (ACS COT). Dr. Bulger has served on ACS trauma committees since 2003, working first in regional committees as the state chair for Washington and then the Chief for Region 10 before being appointed to the national committee.

She served as the chair of the EMS committee and subsequently as chair of the Membership committee and as a member of the executive committee for the past four years. She is the first female in this leadership role since the ACS launched the COT (then the Committee on Fractures) in 1922.

Dr. Bulger, Chief of Trauma at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, succeeds Ronald Stewart, MD, founding Chair of the National Trauma Institute. “Dr. Stewart has been a tremendous leader, and my priorities are to continue his great work,” Dr. Bulger said. “We are working on many initiatives that are essential to the future of trauma care in this country, including disseminating the Stop the Bleed Campaign throughout the country and implementing the recommendations of the NASEM report calling for zero preventable deaths.”

The National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) report outlines 11 key recommendations that range from establishing a national trauma care system to removing regulatory barriers to trauma research to strengthening data sharing across the continuum of care and more. “Our goal to make those recommendations a reality,” said Dr. Bulger. She is the principal investigator on an NTI proposal, recently submitted to the Department of Defense, to meet one of those recommendations—creating a National Trauma Research Action Plan that includes the spectrum of specialties that touch the injured patient.

“Dr. Stewart has also laid the groundwork for a national dialogue on firearm safety and violence prevention,” Bulger said. “I will be continuing this conversation to build consensus in areas where we can make progress using a public health approach.”

Dr. Bulger serves, as well, on the executive committee of the Coalition for National Trauma Research, where her various positions of leadership come to a focal point. “This is a time for building coalitions, speaking with one voice on trauma care,” she said. “Aligning AAST, EAST, WTA, ACS COT and NTI in one direction results in great power and a meaningful platform for making advances.”

-by Pam Bixby,