Present and former staff member of the Joint Trauma System at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research were presented with the first Military Health System Battlefield Innovation Award by Dr. Jonathan Woodson, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs during the AMSUS Annual Continuing Education Meeting Dec. 3. Left to right: Col. (Dr.) Jeffrey Bailey, Mary Ann Spott, Ph.D., Col. (Dr.) Stacy Shackelford, Col. (Dr.) Kirby Gross, Dr. Jonathan Woodson, Dr. Frank Butler, Capt. (Dr.) Zsolt Stockinger, and Dr. Brian Eastridge.
By Steven Galvan, Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research
06 JANUARY 2016
The Joint Trauma System at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, was presented the inaugural Military Health System Battlefield Innovation Award Dec. 3 by Dr. Jonathan Woodson, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, at the 2015 Association of Military Surgeons of the United States Annual Continuing Education Meeting held in San Antonio.
In an email to the JTS leadership from the MHS Chief of Innovation, Dr. Steve Steffensen wrote: “The title of ‘MHS Chief of Innovation’ is a new role that is arguably ambiguous and prone to misinterpretation. But have no doubt that central to everything I intend to do in this position is to advocate for the combat medic and remember our core mission in the military health system. It is therefore with greatest respect that I have chosen to recognize the Joint Trauma System for the first ever ‘MHS Battlefield Innovation Award’.”
Accepting the award was JTS Director, Navy Capt. (Dr.) Zsolt Stockinger and several former JTS directors as well as some JTS leaders.
“Five of seven directors of the JTS were present to accept the award with me,” said Stockinger. “The award proves that this is a team sport, and no single individual built the organization. I told the JTS staff that the award is like the moon rock at the National Air and Space Museum in DC—it doesn’t look like much, but think of what it represents.”
The JTS was created in 2006 at the direction of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs and the Service Surgeon General to improve trauma care for combat wounded. Since its inception the JTS has collected data from more than 130,000 combat casualty care records from Iraq and Afghanistan and created 39 clinical practice guidelines providing evidence-based best-practice recommendations for trauma care. In 2013, the JTS was designated as the Department of Defense Center of Excellence for Trauma by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense.
Steffensen added that the JTS was founded on the basic principles of four simple tenets – right patient, right place, right time and right care – with the guiding vision that every Soldier, sailor, airman and Marine injured on the battlefield will have the optimal chance of survival and functional recovery.
“It is through the JTS and its history of leadership and passionate commitment to combat care that we have seen the case fatality rates for combat injury in Afghanistan and Iraq drop to less than half that of Vietnam and one-third that of World War II,” stated Steffensen. “There is no finer example that embodies the mission of the Military Health System or better contributes to saving lives on the battlefield that the Joint Trauma System and those who support it.”
AMSUS, the Society of Federal Health Professionals, was organized in 1891 and chartered by Congress in 1903 for military, Federal and Veterans Administration healthcare professionals and is dedicated to all aspects of Federal medicine—professional, scientific, educational and administrative.