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.
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.
The 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 of surgery, Division of Trauma, Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery, and a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. Several dozen collaborators have signed on and Dr. Schreiber is looking for more.
Located in the School of Medicine, Department of Surgery, in collaboration with the 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 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. Trunkey pointed out in a federal report that “in general, reserve and active duty Army surgeons lacked experience with trauma.” His report led to the establishment of the Joint Trauma Training Center at Ben Taub General Hospital at Texas Medical Center in Houston. Then-Major Martin Schreiber served on the first pilot team at Ben Taub and commanded the second team.
Ongoing military collaborations
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. Since this time, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act was passed into law to support these collaborations.
Through industry partnerships aimed at accelerating the translation of research from the bench to the bedside, leaders envision a significant contribution to improved patient care.