Congressman Bobby Rush

Representing the 1st District of Illinois

Rush takes the lead urging the House Appropriations Committee to fund trauma related programs

Mar 25, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON— U. S. Representative Bobby L. Rush is leading an effort to obtain federal funding for trauma centers and emergency network preparedness in rural and urban communities throughout the nation.

Funding for these Public Health Service Act programs were authorized over five years ago to be used by states to coordinate between trauma centers, collect important patient data, and improve medical transport and response times.  To date, no funds have been appropriated for these critical programs, but with each year that has passed the situation have gotten worse.  Rush is urging his congressional colleagues to support an appropriation of $224 million a year over the next five years in the upcoming FY2015 appropriations bill.

Earlier this year, the United States received an overall grade of D+ in trauma preparedness from the American College of Emergency Physicians, with 24 states receiving a D or an F (ACEMP Study Here).

As the leading cause of death for folks under the age of 44, traumatic accidents are taking a huge toll across the country killing more people than AIDS and stroke combined. In addition, 33,000 people die each year from motor vehicle accidents-related to trauma, with the risk of dying in a rural crash being 15 times higher than in urban accidents (Indiana Dept. of Health White Paper).

Unfortunately, over 45 million Americans reside in Trauma Deserts and lack access to major trauma centers within the “golden hour” post injury when chances of survival are greatest (American Journal of Public Health – Trauma Deserts).

“Considering these staggering numbers, it’s about time that we get serious about this problem and fund these programs at their authorized level of $224 million under the Public Health Service Act,” stated Rush. 

This is a critical issue for the America people, because of the loved ones lost and the financial burden is overwhelming.  According to the National Trauma Institute, The economic cost of 50 million injuries in the year 2000 was $406 billion which includes $80 billion in medical care costs, and $326 billion in productivity losses (NTI).