American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Trauma Systems

Achieving Zero Preventable Deaths Conference


Dr. Hoyt welcoming attendees to the Achieving Zero Preventable Deaths Conference.The ACS COT convened two conferences in 2017 in response to the recent publication of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) Report, A National Trauma Care System: Integrating Military and Civilian Trauma Systems to Achieve Zero Preventable Deaths after Injury, released in June 2016. The NASEM Report encourages the translation and implementation of lessons learned by the military during recent conflicts into civilian emergency care practice and promotes the need for establishing a national trauma care system.

In order to capture the vision of the NASEM Report, the COT convened a Trauma Systems Strategy Conference, in Washington, DC, in January 2017, bringing together 80 trauma thought leaders and subject-matter experts to discuss implementation of the 11 recommendations within the landmark NASEM Report.

The January 2017 Strategy Conference provided guidance in preparing for the Achieving Zero Preventable Deaths: Building a National Trauma Care System and Research Action Plan Conference, held in Bethesda, MD, in April 2017. The ACS COT convened this event in partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to further disseminate, refine, and implement the 11 recommendations of the NASEM Report. The meeting brought together a multidisciplinary group of approximately 170 professionals from across the full spectrum of the trauma care system. The goal was to create the framework for building a National Trauma Action Plan designed to achieve zero preventable deaths and disability after injury. This ambitious goal will continue to require the support and commitment from a broad array of trauma system stakeholders across several organizations and disciplines.

For more information on the Achieving Zero Preventable Deaths: Building a National Trauma Care System and Research Action Plan Conference, please visit our website or contact the Trauma Systems Program Staff at

Download a copy of the NASEM Report.

Advocacy Update


COT-SurgeonsPAC efforts during the COT Annual Meeting were a great success, raising upwards of $45,000 to help further the College’s political involvement. Thank you to those of you who visited the booth, attended the reception, and, most importantly, supported SurgeonsPAC early this year. The COT is well positioned to reach its 70% participation goal, as 43% of the COT general membership is currently participating in the PAC at some level. Continuing to leverage the College’s legislative priorities, especially pertaining to trauma funding, would not be possible without your support, as well as continued PAC support from all ACSPA-eligible Fellows. For questions about COT fundraising initiatives, please contact SurgeonsPAC staff at or 202-672-1520.

Contributions to ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. Contributions are voluntary, and all members of ACSPA have the right to refuse to contribute without reprisal. Federal law prohibits ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC from accepting contributions from foreign nations. By law, if your contributions are made using a personal check or credit card, ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC may only use your contribution to support candidates in federal elections. All corporate contributions to ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC will be used for educational and administrative fees of ACSPA and other activities permissible under federal law. Federal law requires ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC to use its best efforts to collect and report the name, mailing address, occupation, and the name of the employer of individuals whose contributions exceed $200 in a calendar year. ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC is a program of the ACSPA, which is exempt from federal income tax under section 501c (6) of the Internal Revenue Code.


On February 28, 2017 leaders of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma (ACS COT) hosted a Congressional briefing to highlight the ACS and Hartford Consensus bleeding control (BCon) program. Congressional special guests included Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, Michael Burgess, MD (R-TX); Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, Gene Green (D-TX); and Energy and Commerce members Reps. Richard Hudson (R-NC) and Bill Flores (R-TX), who all provided opening remarks.

The event focused on how early intervention from a bleeding control-trained individual can save the life of someone suffering from a bleeding injury. Several legislators and staff came to learn more about the ACS and engage in a hands-on simulation for how to control bleeding. The simulations were led by ACS Fellows—Ronald Stewart, MD, FACS; Leonard Weireter, MD, FACS; Michael Coburn, MD, FACS; Mark Gestring, MD, FACS; Robert Winchell, MD, FACS; Eileen Bulger, MD, FACS; Ronald Simon, MD, FACS; and Brian Gavitt, MD on behalf of the United States Air Force.


The Georgia Society of the ACS employed the bleeding control program for their 2017 state lobby day on February 7 to discuss funding the Georgia Trauma Network, as well as allocating $1 million for the Georgia Trauma Commission budget for the purchase and installation of bleeding control kits in schools and Stop the Bleed training for teachers and school staff. A Stop the Bleed training was conducted in four locations throughout the Georgia state capitol grounds while Georgia Society advocates met with state legislators to talk about the importance of bleeding control training and public access to kits. The Georgia Senate and House of Representatives adopted a special resolution declaring February 7, 2017 as “Trauma Awareness Day in Georgia.”

Similarly, the North Texas and South Texas Chapters of the ACS included a bleeding control demonstration in the Texas state capitol during their lobby day on February 23. Texas State Representative Trent Ashby introduced a resolution declaring that “the 85th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby recognize the Stop the Bleed campaign and encourage all Texans to participate in the initiative and learn more about the importance of bleeding-control measures.”

ACS State Affairs staff worked with COT State Committees and ACS Chapters to advocate on legislation to implement universal motorcycle helmet laws in Connecticut and Delaware (both  failing to pass out of committee), as well as in West Virginia to defeat a bill to roll back the state’s universal motorcycle helmet law. A helmet repeal bill in Nebraska also failed, while a bill in Utah was approved by the state legislature that will increase the age from 18 to 21 years old that is required to wear a motorcycle helmet.

AMA/ABA Event: Preventing Gun Violence: Moving from Crisis to Action

On March 24, the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Bar Association (ABA) hosted a half-day program in Chicago: Preventing Gun Violence: Moving from Crisis to Action, featuring public health, foundation, crime lab and physician champions working to reduce gun violence using policy, epidemiology, crime investigation data and violence prevention. COT Injury Prevention & Control Committee Chair, Deborah Kuhls, MD, FACS, along with staff members Holly Michaels, Justin Rosen, and Tamara Kozyckyj attended and represented the American College of Surgeons, which officially supported this event. 

Speakers presented on gun violence epidemiology, crime investigation research, and prevention efforts, emphasizing that gun violence is not simply a result of individual behavior but rather related to a person’s social connections, economic status, and many other environmental systems. Speaker Matthew Miller, MD, MPH, ScD, Professor of Health Sciences and Epidemiology at Northeastern University and Co-Director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, compared current gun violence issues to the hazards of driving before the development of motor-vehicle safety features.

“Given that most motor vehicle-related fatalities and crashes are traceable to individual behavior, it would make sense that you would want to focus on the individual, and for years… that was the case,” said Dr. Miller. “We tried to educate people, put them in driver’s ED programs, and enforce traffic laws, to little avail. It’s easier and a lot more effective to alter the environment than it is to try to change human behavior. That’s a central observation that led to an 85 percent reduction in motor-vehicle fatalities [per mile driven],” Dr. Miller noted.1

This event presented opportunities for medical, legal, law enforcement, and public health agencies to work together to decrease gun violence and highlighted the need to create solutions tailored to each community. Physicians who partner with hospital-based violence prevention programs and other groups to assess risk and safety are integral to decreasing firearm injuries and death. Recently, portions of the Florida Firearm Owner’s Privacy Act, which prevented providers from communicating with patients about gun safety as part of routine preventive care, was struck down by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.2  This decision aligns with the ACS support for preserving the right of health care professionals to counsel patients on all types of injury prevention, including gun-related injuries. At the event, ACS attendees distributed information on ACS COT Firearms Injury Prevention Initiatives and Advocacy, including the ACS COT IPC web page

  1. Smith, Timothy M. Physicians essential to gun-suicide prevention. AMA Wire. American Medical Association, 19 Apr. 2017. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.
  2. Kelly, Brendan. Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Breaking News - In Landmark Victory, Court Strikes Down NRA-Backed Gag Rule on Doctors Discussing Guns | Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. N.p., 16 Feb. 2017. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.

ACS COT Firearms Injury Prevention Initiatives and Advocacy