Trauma Research Advocacy Day

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Dr. William Cioffi and CNTR government relations consultant Don Massey wait to meet with a staff member.

On its second annual Trauma Research Advocacy Day, held Feb. 23rd 2016, trauma surgeons made more than 150 visits to their state Congressional delegations–nearly 40 more visits than last year! They advocated for a $20 million increase in FY17 programmatic spending within the Department of Defense Health Program budget for a National Trauma Clinical Research Program.

As a result of its efforts, CNTR was able to secure the sponsorship of Christopher Murphy (D-CT) for a Dear Colleague letter to the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee urging support for the Trauma Clinical Research Program. By the deadline, 15 senators had signed on. In the House of Representatives, CNTR built on last year’s support, securing signatures from 69 House members (20 more than last year) on a Dear Colleague letter sponsored by our champions Representatives Joaquin Castro and Lamar Smith from Texas and Representative Dutch Ruppersberger from Maryland.

The outcome of the the FY17 appropriations process will not be known until the end of this year, but the trauma surgeons who made the trip to Capitol Hill are optimistic that their voices were heard. The Trauma Clinical Research Program gets underway this year with $5 million in internal DoD funds and a $10 million FY16 appropriation. In the coming months, the DoD will issue an RFP to establish a civilian and military trauma clinical network that can conduct military-relevant trauma research aimed at closing the gaps in current understanding.

Dr. Zara Cooper and Dr. Bellal Joseph prepare to do advocacy for the first time.

Dr. Zara Cooper and Dr. Bellal Joseph prepare for their first Capitol Hill visits.

Dr. Mark Hemmila, a trauma surgeon from Michigan, meets with Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow