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April 12, 2018 – In the fiscal year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Bill signed into law in March, Congress appropriated additional funding for a trauma clinical research network. Congress added $10 million in the Defense Health Program Research, Development, Test & Evaluation (RDT&E) Account for the Trauma Clinical Research Program, which was first proposed by the Coalition for National Trauma Research in 2015.

Since CNTR began advocating for this program during its annual trips to Washington, $30 million has been appropriated to establish and run a trauma clinical trials network that can respond to Department of Defense task orders for needed research.

“Our initial request of Congress in 2015 was for funding of a coordinated, multi-institutional, clinical research network to advance experience with and study of military relevant topics in trauma care and trauma systems,” explained Dr. William Cioffi, co-chair of CNTR. “Because many of the injuries seen on the battlefield also affect civilians, such a military-civilian partnership is ideal.”

Dr. Patrick Downes, a Boston Marathon bombing survivor and trauma research advocate, is witness to the power of military-civilian collaboration that the clinical trials network represents. “My wife, Jessica, and I were fortunate enough to gain access to the incredible services and expertise at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center,” said Dr. Downes, who lost a leg. “The trauma care system is at its best when civilian medicine learns from military medicine, and vice versa.”

The Coalition for National Trauma Research comprises the country’s five leading trauma societies — the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, National Trauma Institute, American College of Surgeons’ Committee on Trauma, Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma and Western Trauma Association. The coalition speaks for more than 6,000 professionals in surgical fields and settings who see first-hand the toll that traumatic injury takes on our society and know that we can do better.

-by Pam Bixby,