We all aim to help those in need in our own special way. As many of you recall Orthopaedic Associates of Michigan heard the call in the form of Haitian orthopedic support after the devastating January 2010 earthquake. But OAM has a longstanding tradition to help those in need. Prior to the tragedy at the beginning of 2010, Johns invited OAM to join the Major Extremity Trauma Research Consortium or METRC.
What is METRC? Why does it exist?
This specialized group of 12 core civilian trauma centers joined together in September of 2009 to research and provide definitive treatment to service members who sustain major trauma while on active duty. The overall goal of the Consortium is to produce the evidence needed to establish treatment guidelines for optimal care of wounded soldiers and ultimately improve the clinical, functional, and quality of life outcomes of both service members and civilians who sustain high energy trauma to the extremities. It is quite a challenge and OAM, like the other civilian trauma centers, took it head on.
So why are we talking about it once more?
In October of 2010 a very important decision was made to further assist these trauma centers in their research, the Peer Reviewed Orthopaedic Research Program (PRORP) of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) recently awarded this effort an additional $38.6 million to continue the program. Original funding, which came from the DOD, was meant to cover some of the immediate research needs of the military in the acute management of severe limb injuries. But the violence continues and more research and help is needed. Thankfully, the call for funding was answered.
What does it mean to OAM to continue participation in the Consortium?
“Participating in the Consortium continues our longstanding tradition of clinical excellence,” says Dr. Clifford Jones, director of orthopaedic research, who is among four specialty trained trauma surgeons at Orthopaedic Associates of Michigan. “Together we will address the most pressing issues in orthopedic trauma care. The results of our studies will change practices, resulting in better care and outcomes for all who are injured.”
How many people will the research impact?
To help us better understand the statistics, Dr. Jones noted that 1,322 servicemen and women from Michigan have been wounded in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. The research will allow OAM and other trauma centers to learn what works best for our troops and injured civilians and help these people receive the best possible care.
How are we are being called to help?
We all give in our own ways, whether we raise money, write cards to troops, volunteer in our hometowns, or feel the call to enlist in the fight for freedom. OAM has found its way to help by researching options to help save lives, improve quality of life challenges, and give back confidence to the brave servicemen and women as well as civilians fighting and working in the Middle East.
Want to learn more about the METRC initiative? Please visit www.metrc.org.