Dr. Basil Pruitt, left, former director and commander of the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research is presented with the AMSUS Lifetime Achievement Award by AMSUS Executive Director Dr. Michael Cowan Dec. 4 during the 2015 AMSUS annual continuing education meeting held in San Antonio.
By Steven Galvan, Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research
06 JANUARY 2016
A former Commander and Director of the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research at Fort Sam Houston, Texas was presented with the 2015 Association of Military Surgeons of the United States Lifetime Achievement Award Dec. 4 during the society’s annual continuing education meeting in San Antonio. Dr. Basil Pruitt, a retired Army Colonel, accepted the award for his specialty in burn care spanning more than five decades from AMSUS Executive Director Dr. Michael Cowan.
Pruitt spent all but three of his 35 years as an Army surgeon at the USAISR and commanded the Institute for 27 years before retiring from military service. During the award ceremony Dr. Pruitt pointed out that when he reported to the USAISR Burn Center in 1959 a young adult (age 15-40 years) with a 43 percent burn had a 50/50 chance of surviving and today a young adult with an 82 percent burn has a 50/50 chance of surviving. Dr. Cowan noted “a lot of that improvement has to do with the research and clinical care Dr. Pruitt provided.”
Cowan also read a statement prepared for Pruitt from the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Dr. Jonathan Woodson.
“He has been a leader in his field for over 50 years. He lives at the cutting edge of his surgical specialty and is an internationally renowned burn surgeon. He has dedicated his life to public service and the care of those who have borne the harshest scars of battle. He conducted and led research that dramatically improved the treatment of burns, not just for service members, but for every man, woman and child on the planet.”
“I share this award with all the physicians, other scientists and nurses with whom I have worked at the ISR and the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio,” said Pruitt. AMSUS is a society chartered by Congress in 1903 for military, federal and Veterans Administration healthcare professionals to advance the knowledge and increase effectiveness of its members.