The Letterman Dinner
5th Annual Major Jonathan Letterman Medical Excellence Award
The National Museum of Civil War Medicine congratulates the winners of the 5th Annual Major Jonathan Letterman Medical Excellence Award. COL Craig D. Shriver won the individual award and COL Dallas Hack accepted the organizational award on behalf of The Department of Defense Combat Casualty Care Research Program.
The National Museum of Civil War Medicine, located in Frederick, Maryland, established the Major Jonathan Letterman Medical Excellence Award to recognize an organization and an individual that contributes to the advancement of medical processes and improved patient outcomes and quality of life. This year’s event was held at Bethesda North Marriott on October 24, 2012. The keynote speaker was best-selling New York Times author Lee Woodruff. Mrs. Woodruff shared her personal story about the treatment and recovery of her husband ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff from a head wound he suffered while embedded with troops in Iraq. It was a rare opportunity for leaders in military medicine to hear how their hard work and advancements affect families and survivors. This year’s winners are detailed below.
The Combat Casualty Care Research Program was formed to reduce the mortality and morbidity resulting from injuries on the battlefield, with the following goals: 1. To reduce the mortality rate of American troops by 16 percent 2. To reduce the morbidity of combat injuries 3. To reduce the medical footprint on the battlefield.
The need for advancements in battlefield treatment became apparent to the military with the numbers of casualties in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. As combat operations accelerated, it was found that medical treatment had not advanced significantly since previous wars and gaps in medical treatment were discovered in large numbers as medical personnel gained in experience and compiled statistics of battlefield situations. The Joint Theater Trauma Registry was formed to gain a clearer picture of the gaps in medical research and the frequency of their occurrence. As of this date, the CCCRP has approximately 1,000 combat casualty care research projects from basic research through clinical trials.
Colonel Craig D. Shriver serves as the Interim Director, Cancer Center, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center/Joint Task Force (WRNMMC/JTF); Chief, General Surgery Service, WRNMMC/JTF; Program Director, NCC General Surgery; Professor of Surgery, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU); and Director and Principal Investigator, Clinical Breast Care Project, WRNMMC/JTF.
Known for his wartime vision and practices, COL Shriver devised an innovative method of closing severe abdominal wounds that eventually enabled more than 85% of patients to leave the hospital with closed abdomens. Many of these patients returned to duty and deployed again. The technique is applicable to all patients with open abdomens and translates to civilian practice as well. In an unprecedented surgery, Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the University of Miami collaborated and COL Shriver performed the first pancreas islet cell transplant.
COL Shriver also developed a system of support for returning wounded warriors. His overarching goal was to tap the leadership and wisdom of trauma surgeons to create a unique, modern platform for the comprehensive care of injured patients. His hybrid care-giving model employs staff surgeons, midlevel care providers, and residents who provide optimal treatment to soldiers and their families and bolster knowledge of the resident education community. The endeavor is a model for modern wartime stateside care.
The Letterman Award was established to celebrate Major Letterman’s visionary work as Medical Director of the Army of the Potomac. He created what is now known as the Letterman Plan, which saved the lives of countless Civil War soldiers; and continues to save lives on today’s battlefields in Iraq, Afghanistan, and wherever emergency medical help is needed. Letterman’s contribution was not that of the stereotypical surgeon with sleeves rolled up, tending to individuals wounded on the battlefield; rather he created an infrastructure which allowed all of the surgeons of the Army of the Potomac to work more effectively and, for the first time, as a team. His two-fold mission allowed surgeons to provide quality critical care to those most in need which resulted in more lives saved and a “triage” mentality that provided those not mortally wounded with the ability to get back to active duty or active life sooner and healthier. Letterman’s ability to evaluate and update the medical care of the time and empower others on his medical teams to focus on the mission to protect and sustain the Army of the Potomac allowed him to create a plan that has become the foundation of not only battlefield medicine but also civilian emergency medical care today.
October 24, 2013 is the date for the 6th annual Major Jonathan Letterman Awards Dinner for Medical Excellence. The venue will once again be the Bethesda North Marriott from 6:00 to 9:00pm. For more information or to nominate a worthy individual or organization please contact David Price at email@example.com.
The Letterman Award
The Letterman Award
The Jonathan Letterman Award was established to celebrate Major Jonathan Letterman’s work as Medical Director of the Army of the Potomac. On July 4, 1862, he assumed leadership of the Medical Department under GEN George McClellan and quickly realized that the department needed a complete overhaul. During the battles of South Mountain and Antietam, Letterman fine-tuned what is now known as the Letterman Plan. This plan not only saved the lives of countless Civil War soldiers; his plan continues to save lives on today’s battlefields, Afghanistan, and wherever emergency medical help is needed.
Letterman’s contribution to Military Medicine, then as now, was the infrastructure he created. The Letterman Plan led to battlefield aid stations and triage, a more systemic use of surgeons and supplies, and allowed the Medical Department of the Army of the Potomac to work more effectively and for the first time – as a team. Letterman, known as the “Father of Battlefield Medicine,” had the ability to evaluate and update medical care of the time. His innovations and his focus on the mission to protect and sustain the Army of the Potomac carries on into today’s world of emergency care.
In honor of his visionary work, the National Museum of Civil War Medicine established the annual Major Jonathan Letterman Medical Excellence Award to recognize an individual or entity that has made an outstanding contribution to improving medical processes and patient outcomes.
Living Letterman – Past Award Winners
3rd Annual Awards Dinner
Keynote Speaker: MG Russell J. Czerw, U.S. Army, Retired
2010 Individual Recipient: COL Robert H. Vandre, In recognition of his leadership in the creation of Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM)
COL Vandre recognized the significant potential that the emerging field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine could have in improving the lives and livelihoods of our wounded warriors returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. These warriors, who after modern medicine had done as much as it could for them, remain severely disabled from the traumatic injuries cause by blast and burns. COL Vandre acted on his vision and successfully led the creation of the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM).
2010 Organizational Recipient: The Joint Trauma Analysis and Prevention of Injury in Combat (JTAPIC) Program
Established at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC), Fort Detrick, MD, the Joint Trauma Analysis and Prevention of Injury in Combat (JTAPIC) program is a partnership among Department of Defense intelligence, operational, medical and materiel development communities that collects, integrates and analyzes injury and operational data with the goal of improving our understanding of our vulnerabilities to threats and enabling the development of improved tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP) and materiel solutions to prevent or mitigate traumatic injuries.
2nd Annual Awards Dinner
Keynote Speaker: GEN Gordon Sullivan, (U.S. Army Retired) President, Association of the U.S. Army & Former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army
2009 Recipient: Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4)
The U.S. Army’s Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) integrates fields and supports a comprehensive medical information system, enabling lifelong electronic medical records, streamlined medical logistics and enhanced situational awareness for Army tactical forces. This group is moving the Letterman plan forward using the best of our modern technology to better inform caregivers who will then be empowered to provide more effective and efficient care to our war fighters on the battlefield and here at home.
1st Annual Awards Dinner
Keynote Speaker: Lieutenant General Ronald R. Blanck, U.S. Army, Retired Army Surgeon General (1996 – 2000)
2008 Recipient: The City of Frederick, Maryland
In 1861 the City of Frederick was chosen as a hospital center for the Union Army with the establishment of General Hospital Number One, a hospital that would serve over 30,000 patients during the course of the Civil War. The following year Frederick was also designated as the central evacuation point for casualties from the bloody battles of South Mountain and Antietam. Dr. Letterman’s historical, innovative work 145 years ago continues to save lives on the battlefields of today. With the establishment of Fort Detrick in 1943 as the Army’s Medical Research Center, Frederick continued to support the advancement of medical diagnostics, preventives and treatments. Today, the City of Frederick has emerged as a biotechnology center of worldwide renown and influence, and actively remains at the core of that work.