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Translating Battlefield Practices to Disaster Health

  • Kandra Strauss-Riggs (a1), Kevin Yeskey (a2), Aubrey Miller (a3), Stacey Arnesen (a4) and Craig Goolsby (a5)...


We review aspects of the recently released National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report A National Trauma Care System: Integrating Military and Civilian Trauma Systems to Achieve Zero Preventable Deaths After Injury most relevant to disaster health, particularly the concepts of focused empiricism and building a learning health system. The article references battlefield success utilizing these concepts and the emerging Disaster Research Response Program. We call upon disaster health researchers to apply the report’s recommendations to their work. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:510–511)


Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to Kandra Strauss-Riggs, MPH, Operations Director, National Center for Disaster Medicine & Public Health, 11300 Rockville Pike, Suite 1000, Rockville, MD 20852 (e-mail:


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1. Berwick, D, Downey, A, Cornett, E. eds. A National Trauma Care System: Integrating Military and Civilian Trauma Systems to Achieve Zero Preventable Deaths After Injury. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2016.
2. Rasmussen, TE, Baer, DG, Goolsby, C. The Giving Back: battlefield lesson to national preparedness. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2016;80(1):166-167.
3. Kotwal, RS, Montgomery, HR, Kotwal, BM, et al. Eliminating preventable death on the battlefield. Arch Surg. 2011;146(12):1350-1358.
4. Powell, T, Hanfling, D, Gostin, L. Emergency preparedness and public health: the lessons of Hurricane Sandy. JAMA. 2012;308(24):2569-2570.
5. Kellermann, AL, Peleg, K. Lessons from Boston. N Engl J Med. 2013;368(21):1956-1957.
6. Frieden, T, Damon, I, Bell, B, et al. Ebola 2014-new challenges, new global response and responsibility. N Engl J Med. 2014;371(13):1177-1180.
7. Lurie, N, Manolio, T, Patterson, AP, et al. Research as a part of public health emergency response. N Engl J Med. 2013;368(13):1251-1255.
8. Miller, A, Yeskey, K, Garantziotis, S, et al. Integrating health research into disaster response: the new NIH Disaster Research Response Program. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016;13(7):676.



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