Left to right: Craig Lebo, National Museum of Civil War Medicine Board Member; Col. (Dr.) Kirby Gross, U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research Joint Trauma System Director; Dr. Kenneth Bertram, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command principal assistant for acquisition; and Betsy Estilow, National Museum of Civil War Medicine Board President during the eighth annual Major Jonathan Letterman Award for Medical Excellence by the National Museum of Civil War Medicine Oct.8 in Bethesda, Maryland. Gross accepted the award for the USAISR JTS. Photo by Steven Galvan
By Steven Galvan, Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research
22 OCTOBER 2015
The Joint Trauma System at U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research was selected as the winner of the eighth annual Major Jonathan Letterman Award for Medical Excellence presented by the National Museum of Civil War Medicine Oct.8 in Bethesda, Maryland. This is the second year in a row that the USAISR has won the Letterman award.
The award is named after Maj. Jonathan Letterman who is known as “the father of battlefield medicine.” According to the museum website, the annual award recognizes an individual and an organization for leading innovative efforts in civilian emergency care, combat casualty care, prosthetic technology, improving outcomes for patients with catastrophic injuries or leveraging today’s cutting medical technology to develop new ways to assist military service members or civilians who have suffered severe disfiguring wounds.
Accepting the award for the JTS was Col. (Dr.) Kirby Gross, JTS director.
“Although the award was presented in October 2015, the award was earned since the inception of the JTS and Joint Theater Trauma System,” said Gross. “The JTTS was first fielded in 2005 with stateside support of the JTS at the USAISR. The last theater presence of the JTTS personnel concluded in December 2014, but the theater presence continues by application of Clinical Practice Guidelines and participation in the weekly combat casualty care curriculum conferences.”
The JTS was established at the USAISR in 2004 when the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs directed all military branches to work together to develop a single trauma registry to improve trauma care delivery and patient outcomes through the continuum of care.
“The JTS staff received this award due to the positive impact on combat casualty care outcomes,” Gross said. “The award demonstrates that professional peers and military medical leaders have identified the impact of the JTS. As one of the many contributors to the JTS, this award inspires me to ensure the JTS continues to remain innovative and relevant in combat casualty care.”
Gross added that the JTS by way of the data collected from the wars in Afghanistan has contributed to unprecedented survival rates, as high as 98 percent for casualties arriving alive to a combat hospital.
“This award is a direct result of the remarkable staff at the JTS who make substantial contributions every day to optimizing combat casualty care,” said Col. (Dr.) Michael D. Wirt, USAISR Commander. “Congratulations to all for improving the quality of care for our Wounded Warriors from the battlefield definitive care stateside. There is still much to be done, and I am proud to be with you leading the charge at providing the best care and equipment for our battlefield wounded and those who care for them.”