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  • History of AAST

  • The American Association for the Surgery of Trauma was conceived during the meetings of the Western Surgical Association and Southern Surgical Association in December 1937. The 14 founders who were present at one or both of these meetings invited another 68 surgeons to a Founding Members meeting in San Francisco on June 14, 1938 and the first official meeting of the AAST was held in May 1939 in Hot Springs, Virginia.

    Since its inception the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma was established to further the study and practice of traumatic surgery in its various departments, in the United States and Canada.

    June 14, 1938 AAST formed as American Association for Traumatic Surgery
    May 8, 1939 First Annual Meeting of the Association
    1940 Name changed to American Association for the Surgery of Trauma
    1948 Kellogg Speed, MD, AAST 1st President, presented the association with a gavel and represents a replica of Cotton's hammer.

    Proposal to start the Journal of Trauma brought to the Board of Managers

    Charles Johnston appointed first editor of the Journal of Trauma, but passes away prior to first issue in 1961.

    1961 First issue of the Journal of Trauma with Dr. Rudolph Noer as Editor

    AAST votes to form the American Trauma Society with Dr. Noer to serve on the Board of Directors and AAST to serve as incorporators.

    Dr. William T. Fitts Jr., becomes Editor, Journal of Trauma (officially takes over in 1969)

    1968 American Trauma Society Incorporated
    1969 Journal of Trauma becomes monthly instead of six times a year.
    1971 The Editor of the Journal of Trauma is made a Board of Managers Position
    1972 AAST gives $1,000 to the American Trauma Society as they are not a fully functioning organization.
    1974 The creation of the Dr. William T. Fitts Lecturer

    The first Fitts Orator was given by Dr. Curtiz Artz

    John Davis, MD, becomes Editor, Journal of Trauma


    AAST holds an International Symposium on Trauma in Washington DC in May.

    Senior Members are relieved on paying dues

    AAST applies for 501-C-3 tax exempt status

    1980 Trauma Fellowship for students developed
    1981 Journal of Trauma published in Japanese
    1983 AAST archives all AAST materials with the National Academy of Medicine
    1984 AAST officers assist in the formation of the Pan American Trauma Society

    First Trauma Scholarship offered and sponsored by GM. Scholarship awarded in 1986

    Davis and Geck sponsor a five year $35,000/year scholarship with AAST.


    AAST holds a joint meeting Trauma Association of Canada

    Winthrop Pharmaceuticals co-sponsors a scholarship with AAST


    AAST forms a committee to research an AAST Foundation or Endowment

    A military gavel was presented to AAST from Basil Pruitt, Jr, M.D. for its 50th Anniversary

    50th Anniversary Medals were given out to all attendees at the 1989 meeting. The medals were created by the Franklin Mint.

    $400,000 was appropriated for an endowment to "provide support for trauma education and trauma research"


    AAST created the Critical Care Committee

    The Canizaro Award is created for the best new paper from a new member at the Annual Meeting

    AAST members vote for professional meeting management of future Meetings


    AAST retreat is held

    AAST hires professional meeting management starting with the 1994 meeting.


    AAST develops student scholarships to the AAST Annual Meeting

    AAST Research and Education Foundation developed

    Joint meeting with the Orthopedic Trauma Society is held

    Basil Pruitt, Jr., M.D., selected as the Editor, Journal of Trauma beginning January 1995.


    AAST Research and Education Foundation has a Board of Trustees, and receives $600,000 from AAST.

    The John H. Davis Fellowship is developed

    1999 Wyeth-Ayerst co-sponsors an AAST Scholarship
    2000 Critical Care Committee Chair is made a Board of Managers position

    AAST membership votes to hire an Executive Director

    AAST rents space from the American College of Surgeons for two staff members

    Novo Nordisk sponsors a two-year scholarship

    Ethicon/Johnson & Johnson sponsor one year scholarships for the next five years


    The first Executive Director is hired

    KCI sponsors three one-year scholarships

    AAST/ACS/NIGMS sponsor a K08/K23 scholarship


    AAST Annual Meeting attendance tops 850

    A strategic retreat is held


    First Acute Care Surgery Fellowship Training Site is approved

    AAST holds "Acute Care Congress on the Future of Emergency Surgical Care in the United States"


     Journal of Trauma celebrates its 50th Anniversary

    Meeting attendance tops 1,000

    Ernest  E. Moore, M.D. selected as the Editor, Journal of Trauma beginning January 2012


    AAST Annual Meeting name is changed to:  Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma and Clinical Congress of Acute Care Surgery

    International Relations Committee is made a standing committee


    Ernest E. Moore, M.D., becomes Editor of the Journal of Trauma

    Journal of Trauma name is changed to: Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery

    2013 AAST Celebrates its 75th Anniversary with a commemorative historical book.
    2014 AAST partners with NTI to create The Coalition for National Trauma Research (CNTR

    First CNTR Advocacy Day held with 40 surgeons. AAST BOM votes to start an open access journal, Trauma Surgery and Acute Care Open

    Acute Care Surgery Chair is made a Board of Managers Position, JTACS Editor is removed as a voting position on the Board of Managers

    The following committes are made Operating Committees:  Education Development/MOC, Geriatric and Pediatric Trauma Surgery


    Trauma Surgery and Acute Care Surgery Open Access Journal launched on May 31, 2016

    The Disaster Committee is made an Operating Committee 


    R&E Fund is made a standing Committee.

    Editor, JTACS Contract is renewed

    A strategic retreat was held

    AAST switched from staff at the JTACS office to a peer-reviewed Management company

    2018 June 14, 2018 AAST celebrates its 80th Anniversary

    AAST and ESTES launch the Emergency Surgery Course

    AAST announces a new membership category: Associate Member

    R&E Fund Committee is made a sub-committee under Scholarship, Awards and Development


    The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery celebrates its 60th Anniversary

    The AAST Annual Meeting is held as virtual meeting

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