I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a Happy, fruitful (safe) Year in 2017! This past year has proved to be a tremendous transition for the PFC SOF medicine community. It was the year where we took
our “good ideas” and made substantive changes, for the better I would submit, for SOF medicine. It was also a year where the greater conventional medical community began to focus and expand their efforts in PFC education and doctrine development.
We continued with a very productive relationship with the Joint Trauma System and began writing, editing and releasing PFC CPGs (Clinical Practice Guidelines). JTS has been known as the experts on guidelines for forward military surgical teams, and this joint venture marks the first pre-surgical management guidelines by their teams of experts. True to our PFC WG MO, we have had primary authors of SOF medics and operational medical officers at the forefront of each guideline. We feel that these CPGs will inform the community for the next decade of training and practice. Look for a new tab in the menu of this website for Clinical Practice Guidelines.
2016 also saw the collaboration of the PFC WG with the US Army Institute of Surgical Research, and its parent oversight organization, the Medical Research and Materiel Command at Fort Detrick, MD. This resulted in a Broad Area Announcement requesting academic centers to submit research proposals to directly answer operational questions and needs in such subjects as hemorrhage control, damage control resuscitation, measures of resuscitation and traumatic brain injury. The resultant $57.6 million investment over 3 years, larger than some other entire research portfolios, will benefit PFC efforts directly. We thank the leadership of MRMC and the ISR for their support and investment.
The Virtual Critical Care Consult(VC3) Team that started the initiative out of the Burn Ward and USAISR out of San Antonio Military Medical Center(SAMMC) was approved for another year of funding for the valuable support they give our military medics and providers overseas. We have personally been involved with their efforts when possible, and can say without a doubt, that they are an extremely dedicated group of professionals who continue to push for the VC3’s expansion to an enduring program in conjunction with Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center(TATRC) while supporting both real-world missions and training exercises. They continue to revise and update their Teleconsult script through constant feedback from our medics and providers in those roles.
As an official academic home, we have established our section in the Journal of Special operations Medicine(JSOM) and the submissions have been awesome! I have had the pleasure of reviewing most of the work, and it’s incredibly solid. Most importantly, every submission has had SOF medics and operational docs as authors. This is exactly what we need to expand the knowledge base of PFC and SOF medicine as a whole. If you are considering a submission, especially if you are a SOF medic, please do it! We’ll help with the editing or whatever you need to develop some quality products.
The Special Operations Medical Association(SOMA) has closely collaborated with the working group ever since COL Mabry challenged me to do something about the problems and questions we raised about far-forward, austere medical care facing our medics at 10th SFG(A). We took that challenge not knowing how time consuming and resource intensive this undertaking would be. It is worth every minute and every penny when we hear the impact we have on the way medics train, prepare and deploy to the far reaches of the globe. While SOMA has always paid for the hosting for our podcast, we saw this year mark their direct and complete sponsorship of this website in an effort to provide vitally needed educational content to medics around the world. We welcome the partnership and dedication the board members and President, Master Chief Steven Viola have shown in this initiative. Be sure to check out their new Facebook Page for updates and exclusive content.
We’re excited to run another PFC pre-conference course at SOMSA 2017 in May in Charlotte, NC. The 2016 course was sold out and many medical leaders attended, ensuring the highest quality discussions and education. We will continue editing and releasing podcasts from material we got at from our SOMSA 2016 lab.
As always, we welcome discussion and communication with the greater medical community as we seek to provide guidelines, guidance, educational materials and frank discussion to inform the SOF and greater pre-hospital medical community.
Thank you for your continued interest and input in the effort!