Maj. Paul Colthirst from the U.S. Army Dental and Trauma Research Detachment at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research at Fort Sam Houston explains research being conducted at the detachment to “Innovation Day” guests. Photo by Steven Galvan
By Steven Galvan, Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research
4 APRIL 2013
The U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research (ISR) at Joint Base San Antonio, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, along with the Navy Medical Research Unit-San Antonio (NAMRU-SA) and the Air Force Dental Evaluation and Consultation Service (DECS), collectively known as the Battlefield Health and Trauma Research Institute (BHT), hosted an Innovation Day March 7.
More than 60 leaders from San Antonio, to include academia, biotechnology entrepreneurs, and city leaders, attended. The event was designed to promote awareness of the tri-service combat casualty care research programs in order to facilitate aligned and synergistic endeavors between these three commands and civilian entities.
“Our goal for this event was to make local community leaders aware of the invaluable work that the three military research laboratories conduct to serve combat-wounded,” said ISR Commander, Col. (Dr.) Michael A. Weber. “It was also a great opportunity for us to promote new collaborations between the military and other entities within the community.”
“This was our first effort to engage stakeholders in the San Antonio community to better coordinate our efforts in ways that are mutually beneficial,” said ISR Combat Casualty Care Research Director, David G. Baer, Ph.D. “We received great feedback both from the military participants and the visitors.”
The attendees were able to see firsthand some of the research conducted at the BHT and interact with researchers.
“I walked away with a deeper appreciation for the hidden gem at Fort Sam Houston and gained inroads to collaborate with our military peers,” said Associate Professor Brent M. Nowak, Ph.D., director of Robotics and Intelligent Machines Laboratory, Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Texas at San Antonio. “If I were looking for a single word [to describe the event], it would be eye-opening.”
“Many in our own community did not realize the extent, quality and importance of the work going on here in San Antonio,” said Baer. “The event was a great success.”
David Spencer, the chief financial officer for Pryor Medical, Inc., agreed with Baer. “This day was a great start for the local community to better understand and support the BHT mission in support of the wounded warrior,” said Spencer. “The MDs, PhDs and other researchers are a nationally unique capability and represent a huge business opportunity for San Antonio.”
The ISR is a subordinate research command of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) at Fort Detrick, Md. USAMRMC is a major command in the Army that leads efforts in support of the full life cycle of medical supplies and equipment, to include research, development, acquisition and sustainment. The research part of the mission is executed through its laboratory commands and extramurally.