Since its inception in 1922, the ACS Committee on Trauma (COT) has worked tirelessly to transform trauma care and continues to play a pivotal role in advocacy and education efforts, leveraging trauma center and trauma system resources, creating best practices, providing outcome assessment, and prioritizing continuous quality improvement. ACS maintains a robust trauma advocacy portfolio and actively works with Congress to advance important ACS trauma priorities.
MISSION ZERO Funding
MISSION ZERO builds on the recommendations of the 2016 National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) report titled, “A National Trauma Care System: Integrating Military and Civilian Trauma Systems to Achieve Zero Preventable Deaths After Injury,” to create a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) grant program to cover the administrative costs of embedding military trauma professionals in civilian trauma centers. These military-civilian trauma care partnerships will allow military trauma care teams and providers to gain exposure to treating critically injured patients and increase readiness for when these units are deployed. Additionally, best practices from the battlefield are brought home to further advance trauma care and provide greater civilian access.
The MISSION ZERO Act was signed into law on June 24, 2019, as part of the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation (PAHPAI) Act (Public Law No:116-22).
ACS encourages Congress to fully fund MISSION ZERO at the authorized amount of $11.5 million as part of the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) Appropriations package.
Help amplify additional support for MISSION ZERO in Congress by encouraging your lawmakers to support funding for the lifesaving grant program in FY22!
ACS Letter to Appropriators on MISSION ZERO Report Language (11/2/2021)
Senate MISSION ZERO Appropriations Letter Led by Senators Van Hollen and Cassidy (6/17/2021)
House MISSION ZERO Appropriations Letter Led by Reps. Burgess and Castor (4/27/2021)
Trauma Coalition MISSION ZERO Letter to the House Appropriations Committee (2/17/2021)
Trauma Coalition MISSION ZERO Letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee (2/17/2021)
Burgess-Castor Dear Colleague Letter on MISSION ZERO FY22 Appropriations (April 2021)
Previous Congressional Efforts
MISSION ZERO Overview (FY2021)
Trauma Coalition Letter of Support for MISSION ZERO in the House (2/12/2020)
Trauma Coalition Letter of Support for MISSION ZERO in the Senate (2/12/2020)
House MISSION ZERO Appropriations Request (3/12/2020)
Senate MISSION ZERO Appropriations Request (3/27/2020)
Stop the Bleed
The American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma (ACS COT) is leading the effort to save lives by teaching the civilian population to provide vital initial response to stop uncontrolled bleeding in emergency situations. This effort is being accomplished by the development of a comprehensive and sustainable bleeding control educational and informational program targeted to civilians that will inform, educate, and empower the more than 300 million citizens of the United States. The ACS is also supportive of legislation that will assist civilians to take life-saving action when the need arises.
The Prevent Bleeding Loss with Emergency Devices (BLEEDing) Act would provide grant funding to states for bleeding control kits and training. Just like CPR training, a civilian familiar with basic bleeding control techniques is better equipped to save a life. The effort to make this training and bleeding control kits available to the public through a Department of Homeland Security grant program will help to drive the goal of reducing or eliminating preventable death from bleeding.
The ACS believes the grant program should ensure that eligible entities are procuring only high-quality tourniquets and other bleeding control supplies, such as products approved by the Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) and Department of Defense (DoD) Combat Casualty Research Program, in order to prevent a scenario where a poorly made device might fail and not adequately stop severe bleeding.
Previous Congressional Efforts
ACS Letter of Support for Prevent BLEEDing Act to the House (5/2/2019)
ACS Letter of Support for Prevent BLEEDing Act to the Senate (2/19/2020)
Firearm Morbidity and Mortality Prevention Efforts
Firearm injury remains a high-profile topic in the national debate. The American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma (ACS COT) has worked to advocate and promote a nonpartisan public health approach to firearm injury prevention. This includes implementing evidence-based violence prevention programs through ACS COT trauma centers and fostering a civil dialogue within professional organizations to create a consensus around reducing firearm injury and death.
Federally funded research from the perspective of public health has contributed to reductions in motor vehicle crashes, smoking, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The ACS believes this same approach should be applied to firearm-related injuries and gun safety. The ACS has repeatedly supported funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct public health research into firearm morbidity and prevention.
Under the spending package Congress passed on December 19, 2019, the CDC and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) each received $12.5 million to study firearm injury and prevention—the first time in more than 20 years funding had been allocated specifically to firearm violence research. This legislative victory followed ACS grassroots efforts during the 2018 and 2019 Leadership & Advocacy Summits, as well as testimony given by Ronald M. Stewart, MD, FACS, before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services in March 2019.
This year, the College along with more than 100 medical, public health and research organizations asked Congress to appropriate $50 million in funding for firearm morbidity and mortality prevention research.
Coalition Letter in Support of $50 Million for Firearm Research to House Appropriations Leadership (3/25/2021)
Coalition Letter in Support of $50 Million for Firearm Research to Senate Appropriations Leadership (3/25/2021)
Bipartisan Background Checks Act
In 2018, the ACS COT released a set of 13 recommendations from its Firearm Strategy Team (FAST) Workgroup. These proposals include strategies and tactics to reduce firearm injury, death, and disability in the United States. One of these recommendations includes support for a robust and accurate background check for all firearm purchases and transfers.
The Bipartisan Background Checks Act is legislation that would require all firearm sales to go through the National Instant Background Check System (NICS) as established under the Brady Handgun and Violence Prevent Act. The ACS believes this legislation is a key step in addressing the public health crisis.
Take Action: Contact Congress in Support of the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021
The College has had numerous opportunities to share the work of the ACS COT before Members of Congress and their staff. Including:
ACS Letter of Support for S. 529, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act (3/3/2021)
ACS Letter of Support for H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act (3/3/2021)
Previous Congressional Efforts
Read Dr. Stewart’s Full Testimony (3/7/2019)—Before the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services at a hearing, titled "Addressing the Public Health Emergency of Gun Violence."
Read Dr. Stewart’s Full Testimony (10/3/2019)—Before the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health at a hearing titled, “A Public Health Crisis: The Gun Violence Epidemic in America."
Coalition Letter in Support of $50 Million for Firearm Research to the Senate (3/30/2020)
Coalition Letter in Support of $50 Million for Firearm Research to the House (3/30/2020)
ACS Letter of Support for H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act (2/2/2019)
Cyclical Violence Efforts
Trauma centers stand on the front lines of the interpersonal violence epidemic. With injury recidivism rates as high as 55 percent, trauma surgeons and other advocates are exploring ways to close this revolving door to decrease violent injury, similar to the methods that have been used effectively to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Hospital-based violence intervention programs (HVIPs) are multidisciplinary programs that identify patients at risk of repeat violent injury and link them with hospital- and community-based resources aimed to address underlying risk factors for violence, such as mental health and social determinants of health. Data indicate the HVIPs reduce violent injury recidivism, as well as hospital costs, but more research is needed to better target these efforts and help spread them to areas of need around the country.
The Bipartisan Solution to Cyclical Violence Act would provide grant funding to create new HVIP programs as well as expand current successful programs. It also requires research on best practices which will play a critical role in documenting the success of these programs and will create a road map for hospitals to follow.
Take Action: Contact Congress in Support of the Bipartisan Solution to Cyclical Violence Act
ACS Letter of Support for S. 2422, the Bipartisan Solution to Cyclical Violence Act of 2021 (7/22/2021)
ACS Letter of Support for H.R. 1260, the Bipartisan Solution to Cyclical Violence Act of 2021 (3/2/2021)
Previous Congressional Efforts
ACS Letter of Support for H.R. 5855, the Bipartisan Solution to Cyclical Violence Act of 2021 (2/21/2020)