Donald D. Trunkey Center for Civilian and Combat Casualty Care

The Donald D. Trunkey Center for Civilian and Combat Casualty Care represents an unprecedented commitment to optimizing trauma care through collaborative research efforts in the Portland area.

The Center was established in April 2020, and named for the late emeritus OHSU chair of surgery Dr. Donald D. Trunkey. It connects trauma providers and investigators from multiple disciplines across OHSU and the VA Portland Health Care System.

In Memoriam: Former surgery chair and trauma care advocate leaves behind a legacy

A sunny day view of the OHSU campus, with the hospital on the right

OHSU is internationally recognized in trauma research, identified by the American College of Surgeons as one of the top five trauma research programs in the nation. The three leading OHSU faculty investigators in this field alone bring in more than $28 million in federal and industry funding.

Our mission

The Donald D. Trunkey Center’s mission is to mine and convene the much broader local community of investigators to better leverage research expertise, partners and resources to advance trauma research and improve patient outcomes across the continuum of care.

The center is directed by Martin Schreiber, M.D., Professor and Head of the Division of Trauma, Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery, and a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. 

Located in the School of Medicine, Department of Surgery, and in collaboration with the OHSU Schools of Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy, the center leverages an existing trauma endowment and serves as a focal point for philanthropic, government, foundation and industry research funding.

The Donald D. Trunkey Center embodies the deep connection between trauma care at OHSU and service in the U.S. military

As a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve during the Gulf War’s Operation Desert Storm in 1991, Dr. Donald Trunkey pointed out in a federal report at the time that “in general, reserve and active duty Army surgeons lacked experience with trauma.” His report turned out to be pivotal and led to the establishment of the Joint Trauma Training Center at Ben Taub General Hospital at Texas Medical Center in Houston. Then-Major Dr. Martin Schreiber served on the first pilot team at Ben Taub and commanded the second team.

Through industry partnerships aimed at accelerating the translation of research from the bench to the bedside, our Donald D. Trunkey Center leaders envision a significant contribution to improved patient care.

Ongoing military collaborations: AMCT3 and SMART

OHSU’s ongoing collaborations with the military include a partnership with the U.S. Army launched in June 2019 called the Army Military Civilian Trauma Training Team (AMCT3). OHSU was selected as one of the first two sites for this collaboration out of 28 potential sites nationwide. The program integrates highly trained army medical personnel into civilian hospital trauma care teams for up to 3 years during peacetime. The cross-training and expertise shared on both sides has proven invaluable. Since that time, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act was passed into law to support these collaborations and the program has now been implemented across the country. 

Following AMCT3, an additional program, SMART (Strategic Medical Asset readiness Training) was introduced most recently in 2023. At its launch, OHSU was only one of four U.S. civilian trauma centers participating in the program, and the only one in Oregon to offer the 2-week course. It employs combat nurses and medics in a similar style to the AMCT3. From wound care and sterile prepping, to learning intubation techniques, the Army combat medics and nurses are getting specialized, hands-on experience that is critical for times of combat.

OHSU and our Division of Trauma, Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery were national front-leaders in the introduction of both AMCT3 and SMART and we are currently one of only a small handful of institutions to offer both programs simultaneously.

Trunkey Center Seminar Series

A quarterly educational series of multidisciplinary trauma-focused lectures

Coming up next:
Wednesday, December 6, 2023, 4 - 5 p.m.
"Stem Cell Therapies in Trauma and in Development and Tissue Regeneration"
Presented by Dr. Melissa Wong, Professor of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology and Dr. Martin Schreiber, Head and Professor of Trauma Surgery, OHSU

Join Meeting:
Meeting password: EbC6JRJu3b4

Dr. Martin Schreiber is the Trauma Medical Director and the Chief of the Division of Trauma, Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery at Oregon Health & Science University. He is the immediate past Chairman of the Trauma Center Association of America.  He is a Colonel in the US Army Reserve and has been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan and he has served as the Joint Theater Trauma System Director. He is an Adjunct Professor of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.  Dr. Schreiber is also the director of the Army Civilian Trauma Training Team and the Donald D. Trunkey Center for Civilian and Combat Casualty Care at OHSU.   The Trunkey Center and previously the Trauma Research Lab has been continuously funded by federal sources since 2001. Lab research interests include prehospital treatment of traumatic brain injury, resuscitation of hemorrhagic shock, hemorrhage control and development of novel blood products. Current funding sources include the Department of Defense, the NIH and private industry. The lab is engaged in over 40 investigational protocols at OHSU. Dr. Schreiber has over 580 total publications.  He is considered a leader in the trauma community and he has been an invited speaker throughout the United States and around the world. 

Dr. Melissa Wong's research program focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying stem cell regulation in the context of intestinal development, tissue regeneration, and disease. While stem cell biology is at the forefront of regenerative medicine, there lacks a clear understanding of the general mechanisms that regulate stem cell proliferation and ultimate lineage differentiation in tissue. This lack in knowledge hampers potential to harness stem cell biology for therapeutic purposes. The individual research projects in Dr. Wong's laboratory encompass investigation of establishment of the regulatory stem cell niche during intestinal development, the dynamic remodeling of the intestinal stem cell niche during injury and disease, and the role of cellular fusion with intestinal stem cells in intestinal carcinogenesis.

Donald D. Trunkey, M.D., late emeritus OHSU chair of surgery
Late Emeritus OHSU chair of surgery Dr. Donald D. Trunkey, out in the field