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HomeNewsVanderbilt University Medical Center, Army Medicine partnership generates ready Medical Forces

Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Army Medicine partnership generates ready Medical Forces

Blanchfield Army Community Hospital (BACH)Fort Campbell, KY – A military-civilian partnership between Army Medicine and Vanderbilt University Medical Center, in Nashville Tennessee, helps keep Soldiers ready to answer the nation’s call.

Called AMEDD Military-Civilian Trauma Team Training, these partnerships were developed under the Army Medical Skills Sustainment Program to place military trauma teams in Level 1 civilian trauma centers to optimize real-world training.

The joint training at VUMC is designed to fulfill the clinical training requirements of Soldiers in specific medical areas of concentration, in order to provide current and competent health care personnel in support of the National Security Strategy.

“There was a time when at the height of combat, the Army, the Air Force, the Navy, were doing surgeries and trauma at an unprecedented level, but now that combat operations have died down, it requires us to do things differently,” said Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle, U.S. Army Surgeon General and Commanding General U.S. Army Medical Command, during his recent visit to Fort Campbell, Kentucky and VUMC.
 
Dingle said that going back to a peacetime environment, Army Medicine still has to be ready to respond to trauma injuries and cannot let those skills degrade. In order to do that, military to civilian partnerships were established.
 
Some common types of traumatic injury seen in the nation’s trauma centers include traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries and fractures, amputations, broken bones, cuts and puncture wounds, massive hemorrhage, and collapsed lung and are similar to those sustained in combat.

(Center front) Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle, the U.S. Army Surgeon General and Commanding General of U.S. Army Medical Command, recently visited Soldiers on assignment at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, on Sept. 23, 2022. He also met with Soldiers at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) and the 531st Hospital Center, all on Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to discuss operational readiness.
(Center front) Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle, the U.S. Army Surgeon General and Commanding General of U.S. Army Medical Command, recently visited Soldiers on assignment at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, on Sept. 23, 2022. He also met with Soldiers at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) and the 531st Hospital Center, all on Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to discuss operational readiness.

At VUMC, Dingle observed and spoke with Soldiers from medical career fields like surgeons, combat medic specialists, nurses and other specialties working side-by-side with their civilian counterparts providing trauma care to patients with serious to life threatening injuries.
 
“That is why we have to establish military and civilian partnerships in our cities and towns at Level 1 trauma centers like right here in Nashville, where Soldiers can be exposed to the trauma that they will experience in combat,” said Dingle. “I can’t generate that in my military medical treatment facilities, which is why this is an epic partnership that is producing our nation’s best military providers.”
 
Located about 50 miles from Fort Campbell, which straddles the Kentucky-Tennessee state line, VUMC is home to middle-Tennessee’s only state-verified Level 1 trauma center, covering an area that extends from western Kentucky to Alabama. According to its Division of Acute Care Surgery, the trauma center handles close to 8,000 acute traumas annually, which averages to about 20 patients with serious to life-threatening traumatic injuries each day.



 
Active-duty trauma surgeon, Maj. Joshua Smith, a current program participant at VUMC said that his caseload average is about one ICU admission per shift and four or more trauma admissions per shift at VUMC, compared to only a few cases per month at his previous MTF.
 
“The volume and acuity are significantly more, and the experience we get here allows us to maintain and refine our skills,” he said. “I’m going to go out the door [for a deployment] … and I know that no matter what happens, I am prepared,” Smith said.
 
Army Medicine currently has eight trauma team partnerships at Level 1 trauma centers across the country. Additionally, VUMC supports Army Medicine’s Strategic Medical Asset Readiness Training. SMART enables combat medic specialists and Soldiers from other enlisted medical specialties to complete rotations at civilian trauma centers, helping the Soldiers maintain proficiency on specific trauma skills identified by the Army.
 
“In the Army, we’re used to training a certain way, but as time and situations and environments change, it requires us to think outside the box and do things differently,” said Dingle. That is what is happening right now at Vanderbilt. It is generating the readiness for us to save life, limb and eyesight.

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