Medical Innovators Honored as Heroes and Pioneers

Contact: April Dietrich
Institutional Advancement and Communication
October 31, 2011

For Immediate Release:

Medical Innovators Honored as Heroes and Pioneers

The National Museums of Civil War Medicine will honor the innovative work of the Military Amputee Research Program (MARP) and the leadership of COL Alexander Stojadinovic, MD, FACS at a Gala Dinner on Thursday, October 27, 2011 at Musket Ridge Golf Course in Myersville, MD.

The Surgeon General of the Army and Commander of the U.S. Army Medical Command Lt. Gen. Eric B. Schoomaker offered the keynote address at this year’s Maj Jonathan Letterman Award for Medical Excellence Gala Dinner. Lieutenant General Eric B. Schoomaker was sworn in as the 42nd Army Surgeon General on 11 December 2007 and assumed Command of US Army Medical Command on 13 December 2007. Before this selection, LTG Schoomaker served as the Commanding General Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the North Atlantic Regional Medical Command. In his keynote address, LTG Schoomaker addressed the Award Recipients as “heroes” of medicine, who in true pioneer style, work tirelessly to create innovations that aid in the recovery and healing of wounded war-fighters returning from combat. Few outside the military know of the existence of either of these awardees whose work has life-changing effects on soldiers around the world every day, and how their work will have an effect on civilian medicine in the future as their research and innovations carry over to all traumatic injuries. The MARP and COL Stojadinovic each received a Major Jonathan Letterman Award for Medical Excellence, in recognition of their inspiring and pioneering spirit in the field of military medicine.

The MARP was established to support research initiatives to advance clinical care strategies and technology used to optimize recovery of Service Members after traumatic limb loss, in collaboration with the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at thaw Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC. Due to advances in live-saving technologies in combat theatres, more war fighters are coming home, but with catastrophic injuries and in need of prosthetic limbs; however most of the research of prosthetic limbs in civilian medicine previously focused on older patients who lost limbs due to disease. War fighters coming home had different needs in not only artificial limbs, but rehabilitation techniques as well. MARP was created to coordinate in implement multiple research initiatives to support advances in clinical and rehabilitation strategies, foster advances in prosthetic technology to optimize patient function and develop studies to modeled trends in patient care and recovery after traumatic limb loss. Thanks to the work of MARP wounded war fighters now not only have the ability to lead very active lifestyles, some are even re-deploying and returning overseas to combat theatres.

Colonel Alexander Stojadinovic, in a conversation with other doctors at Walter Reed Army Medical Center recognized the significant challenge that was faced in wound care of complex battle wounds. His answer was to create the Combat Wound Initiative Program (CWI). In partnership with civilian leaders in wound care and research COL Stojadinovic and his team of clinicians and researchers provide cutting edge care through targeted clinical and translational research that incorporates advanced technology and treatment, tissue banking and bioinformatics. With CWI, COL Stojadinovic is addressing a previously unmet need in combat casualty care with an integrated approach to wound healing. The leadership of COL Stojadinovic has enabled U.S. Army medicine to go beyond current medical science in helping our severely wounded troops lead a more manageable life.

The National Museum of Civil War Medicine, located on 48 E. Patrick Street in Frederick, Maryland, established the Major Jonathan Letterman Medical Excellence Award in 2008 to honor individuals, military units or entities, companies, organizations or project groups who are leaders in innovative efforts in combat casualty care, prosthetic technology, improving outcomes for patients with traumatic brain injuries incurred on the battlefield, or drawing on today’s cutting edge medical technology to develop new ways to assist Armed Forces members who have suffered severe disfiguring wounds. These innovations carry over into civilian life many times contributing to the advancement of medical processes and improved patient outcomes and quality of life for all.

History of the Award: The City of Frederick, MD, was awarded the First Letterman Award in October 2008. The 2009 award recipient was the U.S. Army’s Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4). In 2010, a new tradition of two awards began, one to an individual and one to an entity. COL (ret) Robert H. Vandre was the recipient of the award to an individual. Joint Trauma Analysis and Prevention or Injury in Combat (JTAPIC) received the award to an entity.
For more information please contact April Dietrich:

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