Trauma Training ‘Will Save Lives on the Battlefield’

Retired Army Col. Dave Leckrone (left) with Gen. David Petraeus

By Col. Dave Leckrone

For the past 14 months, I have had the privilege to serve with the professional staff of Rush University while training combat medics for military operations. During this time period, over 300 military health care personnel have experienced an Advanced Trauma Training Program curriculum unmatched by any other training platform in the United States military.

The ATTP’s fiscal year 2010 courses enrolled military medics from 15 different states, including 11 National Guard physician assistants, one from the island of Guam. The feedback we receive from the student base has been amazing, with the most common comment being “best military course I have ever attended.”

One addition to the Advanced Trauma Training Program this past year was a module pertaining to traumatic brain injury (TBI). This injury,  labeled the Army’s “signature wound of the 21st century,” is at a critical state within its ranks. Importantly, the Rush University instruction proved to be extremely beneficial to the medics and the physician assistants who attended and will save lives on the battlefield.

Our strategic goal is to provide the course to military units as part of predeployment training for combat or humanitarian operations. Recently, official accreditation of 24 hours has been granted to the program by the Army Emergency Medical Services Division at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, for Army Medic Sustainment Training; and it issues 55.5 hours of civilian continuing education (CE) for course completion.

Other program expansion efforts are ongoing with the National Guard Bureau-Army Staff, other military service components, and civilian law enforcement agencies, as well as the National Guard Bureau’s Joint Operational Staff in order to provide trauma training to their Homeland Defense medical personnel.

Also during the past 12 months, we have continued discussion with the Department of the Army and the state of Illinois on programs which address post-traumatic stress disorder, additional TBI efforts, and employment and treatment programs for veterans, to include disabled veterans and their families.

Retired Army Col. Dave Leckrone is a military liaison and consultant for Rush University.

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