Military symbols, a battleship and a field artillery piece, featured on our Association’s seal recognize the synergy between civilian and military members to improve trauma care in both settings. The mission of the Military Liaison Committee, a permanent committee, is to cultivate this critical relationship. The Committee accomplishes this charge primarily through educational activities at the Annual Meeting and Webinars throughout the calendar year and advocacy to Association and military leadership.
Additionally, the Committee is excited to share news on two ongoing projects.
The first project, spearheaded by Dr. Joseph Galante, is to chronicle an oral history of the Association’s contributions towards the care of our Nation’s Wounded Warriors over the past fifteen years of war. Not only did members in uniform deploy to the war zones and care for casualties at in-garrison military treatment facilities, but many civilian members volunteered their time and expertise to participate in the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) Senior Visiting Surgeon Program. These volunteers ensured that the highest quality care was delivered, and directly contributed to LRMC’s successful verification in 2011 as an American College of Surgeons Level I Trauma Center. The Committee believes that all these experiences should be captured for valuable “lessons learned” as well part of the history of the Association.
The proposal of a military-specific Acute Care Surgery second-year fellowship training curriculum is the Committee’s second work in-progress. Military (and many rural) surgeons may need to care for multi-system trauma patients without the availability of on-site surgical specialty consultation. With the AAST Acute Care Surgery Committee, our goal is to provide hands-on experiences for military-committed, in-training Fellows for specialty procedures cited as highly desirable by previously deployed military surgeons. We seek consensus from the Joint Trauma System as well as the Army, Air Force and Navy surgical consultants as to the final curriculum requirements.
On June 17, 2016, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine released a report entitled, A National Trauma Care System: Integrating Military and Civilian Trauma Systems to Achieve Zero Preventable Deaths After Injury (www.nationalacademies.org/traumacare). The report “presents a vision for a national trauma care system driven by the clear and bold aim of zero preventable deaths after injury and minimal trauma-related disability to benefit those the nation sends into harm’s way in combat as well as every American.” The Military Liaison Committee hopes to contribute to the realization of this vision.
The Committee thanks our surgical colleagues and the Association’s administrative staff for their support of our activities.