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Dr. Tom Scalea and Dr. Elliott Haut, Maryland trauma surgeons, meet with Senator Van Hollen, Jr. (center).

February 6, 2018–Today in Washington, D.C. 33 trauma research advocates from across the country are meeting with their members of Congress to advocate for the creation of a National Trauma Research Action Plan (NTRAP). As recommended in the 2016 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) report on a national trauma care system, an NTRAP will be a key component of a system that minimizes death and disability.

The surgeons and other trauma professionals representing the Coalition for National Trauma Research (CNTR) together are making 174 office visits with the Congressional delegations from 22 states, including 140 meetings with House members’ offices and 34 with Senate offices. Their request is for $9.2 million in funding for a plan (and initial research projects that meet priorities) that will help to achieve Zero Preventable Deaths and Disability.

Seen as a first step toward achieving Zero Preventable Deaths and Disability after traumatic injury in the U.S., the NTRAP will bring together trauma professionals across the continuum of care and within the multiple disciplines that touch trauma, from orthopedics to neurology to burns to pediatrics, geriatrics and more. They’ll perform a gap analysis, define optimal metrics to assess long-term outcomes, identify current federal funding sources and regulatory barriers, and create a path forward.

CNTR advocates launched the #FundTraumaResearch hashtag to chronicle their efforts. Texas Representatives Joaquin Castro and Will Hurd, along with Maryland Representative Dutch Ruppersberger are leading an effort to secure member signatures on a letter to the House Appropriations Committee expressing support for the expenditure.

The Coalition for National Trauma Research comprises the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, National Trauma Institute, Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, ACS Committee on Trauma and Western Trauma Association.

-by Pam Bixby,