WASHINGTON, D.C. — Representatives Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Gene Green (D-TX), Richard Hudson (R-NC) and Kathy Castor (D-FL) reintroduced the MISSION Zero Act (H.R. 880), to assist the Department of Defense (DoD) in assigning trauma surgeons to civilian trauma centers filling a gap in care recently examined by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Currently, trauma care in the United States is a patchwork of regional systems and incomplete data registries. Mortality and disability in traumatic injury can be greatly reduced through integrated, permanent joint civilian and military trauma system training platforms, in order to create and sustain an expert trauma workforce between periods of active combat. The MISSION Zero Act would also establish grant programs for eligible trauma systems and centers to incorporate full military trauma teams or individual military trauma providers into their hospitals. This mutually beneficial partnership would allow civilians the chance to learn more about military best practices and would give military trauma care providers the opportunity to utilize their cutting-edge expertise without leaving the military. “Our military has made incredible strides in delivering trauma care, saving countless lives that would have otherwise been lost,” said Rep. Burgess. “This expertise should be brought home to strengthen our civilian trauma centers and systems, so that efforts to save American lives are not dependent on where one is injured and what care is readily available. The MISSION Zero Act would establish a grant program to foster a partnership between our military and civilian trauma providers to benefit all Americans. I am proud to be part of this important legislation to strengthen our nation’s trauma care and save more lives on and off the battlefield.”
“This grant program will support the development of a national trauma care system that allows for the continuous and seamless exchange of knowledge across the military and civilian health care sectors,” said Rep. Green. “This would better provide optimal delivery of trauma care to save the lives of Americans injured within the United States or on the battlefield. As we grapple with how to best support our men and women in uniform and respond to tragedies at home, we must make certain that our trauma systems and centers are best prepared to save lives.”
“As a Representative of North Carolina – home of the epicenter of the universe, Fort Bragg – I understand how critical it is for our military trauma teams to maintain their unique medical skills off the battlefield,” said Rep. Hudson. “That’s why I’m proud to join my colleagues to introduce this bipartisan bill that will place military trauma teams into high acuity civilian trauma centers, empowering them to hone their expertise and enhancing our civilian trauma centers across the country.”
“We need to build on the unique partnership between Tampa General Hospital and military medical professionals from MacDill Air Force Base. MacDill is home to the 6th Air Medical Group that serves the Sixth Air Mobility Wing, U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command. In 2011, the MacDill Air Medical Group and Tampa General Hospital launched a ‘full team’ training initiative with nurses, surgeons and specialists. The initiative allows military and civilian medical teams to hone their skills in intense trauma environments and thereby keep them sharp to care for our warfighters. These partnerships are going to be vital for continued training for our community and our military. It should be replicated in other trauma centers across the United States,” said Rep. Castor.
The MISSION ZERO Act is endorsed by the American Congress of Neurological Surgeons, American College of Emergency Physicians, American College of Surgeons, and the Trauma Care Association of America.
“We are pleased to support the MISSION ZERO Act and applaud Reps. Burgess, Green, Hudson and Castor for reintroducing this important legislation,” said Jennifer Ward, President of Trauma Center Association of America. “Allowing trauma centers around the country to partner with military surgeons will not only help our servicemen and women maintain military readiness, but will also strengthen our trauma care systems and ensure that top-notch trauma care is available to every person who needs it.”