Joining forces to enhance preparedness
The Trauma Institute of San Antonio (TRISAT) is the first Congressionally funded, joint military-civilian trauma institute in the United States. TRISAT coordinates academic, community and military resources to most effectively serve trauma victims and their families. The Institute is ensuring the preparedness of the community and country when trauma strikes, both in peacetime and wartime.
TRISAT combines the expertise of surgeons, nurses and other trauma team members from the UT Health San Antonio, University Health System, San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC) and the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, which operates the nation’s only military burn center. The establishment of TRISAT puts an exclamation point on the strong partnerships already present in these San Antonio trauma institutions. The city is the only one in the country with the distinction of having two Level 1 trauma centers working together with a Congressional mandate.
From the streets of San Antonio to battlefields around the world, trauma is a daily occurrence. When seconds count, trauma surgeons do amazing work for patients with torso wounds, orthopedic injuries, head injuries and other types of life-threatening injuries. The collaborative nature of TRISAT permits all members to take advantage of each other’s individual strengths, making TRISAT a program with stronger sustainability at a time when many trauma programs in the United States are in a state of crisis.
TRISAT member centers see over 8,000 trauma patients per year from a 22-county trauma service area and beyond. TRISAT, in collaboration with the Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council (STRAC) has developed a regional trauma registry, which consolidates trauma data from the region’s hospital trauma registries, resulting in greater opportunities for clinical research injury prevention.
TRISAT is at the core of a comprehensive system of trauma care, accepting transfers from 30 hospitals and more than 70 EMS agencies throughout San Antonio and South Texas.
TRISAT integrates research activities of the member institutions, provides multi-site studies with access to the thousands of trauma patients served, and identifies military and civilian funding sources in support of additional trauma and burn research. The results include expanded scientific mass, evaluation of interventions that can save lives on the battlefield, and improved timing and effectiveness of research outcomes.
TRISAT is designing teaching programs to benefit both the military and civilian medical communities. Clinicians and laboratory scientists are collaborating to create multidisciplinary programs at various levels of health professionals’ education: trauma rotations, electives for military and civilian third- and fourth-year medical students, post-graduate residency rotations for physicians, and activities directed toward nurses, medics and other health care professionals.