Published 6/4/2019

AAOS commends passage of Health Disaster Response Bill

Washington, D.C. (June 4, 2019) — The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) commends House passage of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2019 (PAHPAI, S.1379). The legislation now heads to the president’s desk to be signed into law and includes the AAOS-supported MISSION ZERO Act, which allows military trauma surgeons to keep up their skills in civilian trauma centers.

“Our military surgeons are trained for trauma and critical care situations, whether it’s saving a limb on the battlefield or providing life-saving care during a catastrophe,” said AAOS President Kristy L. Weber, MD. “This legislation helps to ensure they’re ready, able, and willing to use their expertise in emergencies when patients need them most.”

The MISSION ZERO Act has the dual benefit of maintaining military surgical readiness between wars while improving civilian access to trauma care. Introduced by Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), the legislation establishes a $15 million/year grant program that enables military providers and trauma teams to offer trauma care and related acute care at civilian trauma centers.

"Every day our active military and veteran surgeons are applying lessons learned from some of the toughest trauma care environments. They’ve achieved unprecedented survival rates during the past 18 years of war, and it’s critical that we maintain their expertise through training programs,” said Dr. Weber.

AAOS worked with Rep. Burgess to introduce an earlier version of MISSION ZERO in 2017 and has since advocated for the legislation with the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA) as a participant in the Trauma Coalition. The group comprises more than two dozen professional organizations representing frontline health care providers committed to advancing public policy that strengthens our nation’s trauma care system.

“In making these critical policy changes today and prioritizing the readiness of disaster response teams, our physicians will be better enabled to provide the best possible care the next time a disaster strikes,” said Dr. Weber.

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Contact AAOS Media Relations 

Kristen Coultas