Traumatic injury is the leading cause of death in Americans under the age of 45. However, funding for trauma research and development (R&D) is far below that of other conditions with similar burdens of disease, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. As a result, innovation in trauma care has failed to keep pace with other health conditions, despite reports by the National Academy of Sciences citing multiple unmet needs that must be addressed to save lives.
Although medical professional societies and related entities have advocated for increased research and development support, sufficient attention has not been dedicated to this important problem. Additionally, in other medical specialty areas, close coordination between academic centers and industry partners has been a key driver of innovation, a trend that is lacking in trauma. The trauma field therefore does not have the resources necessary to expeditiously improve related foundational science and rapidly translate those advances to the development of new trauma technologies. By extension, commercialization and adoption of innovative trauma technologies have also fallen short,
Objectives & Activities:
CARIT is actively working to achieve its mission through stakeholder coordination, educational outreach events, and federal advocacy, including:
- Driving consensus on funding priorities among research stakeholders
- Producing supporting documentation (e.g., position papers, Letters to the Editor, etc.)
- Increasing federal trauma R&D dollars through congressional advocacy, such as:
- Ensuring trauma research priorities are placed within the National Defense Authorization Act
- Annual appropriations for DoD research programs (e.g., peer-reviewed research program, Research, Development, Test & Evaluation (RDT&E) funding, etc.)
- Trauma-relevant provisions in key authorizing legislation
- Liaising with key federal agencies to broaden support for its mission.
- Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA)
- Department of Defense (DoD)
- Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
In its short lifespan, CARIT has been exceedingly successful in improving federal funding:
- $5M + $10M program increase for trauma immunology research through the Army RDT&E budget in the respective FY22 and FY23 DoD budgets
- New “trauma” topic in the FY22 and FY23 DoD Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP), resulting in over $23M in trauma awards in FY22.
- Increased BARDA’s focus on trauma as a public health preparedness concern