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“Traumatic injury is the leading cause of death for children and adults up to the age of 44—a shocking statistic that affects everyone, regardless of age, race, or economic status. By educating the community and inspiring advocacy, we aim to reduce the number and severity of traumatic injuries nationwide.” —Mitch Harris, MD

In 1966, a U.S. National Academy of Science report called trauma an unrecognized epidemic. More than 50 years later, resources remain inadequate to address the scale of this problem, perpetuating an enormous human and financial cost.

Traumatic injuries can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time—in military combat, on athletic fields, in motor vehicle accidents, and, sadly, in terror attacks. The statistics are sobering. According to the Centers for Disease Control:

Trauma is the NUMBER ONE cause of death for people ages 44 and under, ahead of cancer and heart disease
The total cost of preventable injuries in 2020 was more than $2 TRILLION
In 2021, trauma incidents accounted for over 300,000 DEATHS in the United States, leaving SURVIVORS with permanent mental & physical disabilities
Traumatic injuries comprise 40 PERCENT of visits to emergency departments

Much more needs to be done. Trauma research and care remains an under-represented and underfunded medical field. The Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation is committed to filling this gap by:

  • Reaching beyond traditional funding sources to offer physician-scientists critical seed grants;
  • Educating the next generation of medical leaders;
  • Providing award recipients with tools and opportunities to raise additional capital, bring their innovations to market, and become confident entrepreneurs;
  • Improving injury prevention and empowering the public to act as first responders in life-threatening emergencies;
  • Connecting like-minded researchers and clinicians from diverse specialties such as bioengineering, emergency medicine, plastic surgery, othopaedics, and injury prevention; and
  • Building global awareness about the center’s mission to transform care for civilians and military heroes who endure traumatic injuries and events
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