Newswise — Bethesda, Md. – Whether on the battlefield or within local communities, the minutes following a traumatic injury are crucial in saving lives. Army 2nd Lt. Matthew  McDonough and ret. Army Col. (Dr.) Kyle Remick, from the Uniformed Services University (USU), sought to further close the time gap between injury and treatment within the National Capital Area with the potential addition of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) to the Maryland trauma system, testing its inclusion with their new study,  “Geospatial Assessment to Improve Time to Treatment (GAITT)” published online ahead of print in the Journal of Surgical Research. 

WRNMMC is an American College of Surgeons-verified Level 2 trauma center and one of the largest hospitals in the Military Health System (MHS), serving as a long essential resource for trauma care. Using geographic information system mapping technology and testing at various simulated times, distances from treatment centers, and days, the study aimed to find any potential benefit to including WRNMMC for civilian treatment, hypothesizing that its inclusion would increase timely aid for a large portion of the local Washington, DC, metro area population. 

The study found that not only could WRNMMC provide vital aid to its surrounding citizens, especially those within a 15-minute radius of the hospital, but GAITT also emphasized the military’s benefits for including this hospital in the tightly controlled trauma system of Maryland.

“Without a small role in civilian trauma care, it is difficult for WRNMMC to maintain readiness of its trauma program,” wrote McDonough and Remick. “The inclusion of military hospitals in civilian trauma systems is a national priority dating back to the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act…serving a dual-purpose of aiding local citizens and sustaining readiness of MHS trauma programs and deploying personnel.” 

Furthermore, GAITT found that “…much of the benefitting population is composed of low income and historically marginalized populations,  highlighting a theme in healthcare disparities occurring in Maryland and across the country.”  

Ultimately, GAITT reveals that not only could WRNMMC’s inclusion to Maryland’s trauma system save lives and offer continuous medical practice for military personnel, but it could also  work to fill in gaps of proper healthcare between marginalized populations and those with adequate community resources. 

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About the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences: The Uniformed Services  University of the Health Sciences, founded by an act of Congress in 1972, is the nation’s federal health sciences university and the academic heart of the Military Health System. USU students  are primarily active duty uniformed officers in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Public Health  Service who receive specialized education in tropical and infectious diseases, TBI and PTSD,  disaster response and humanitarian assistance, global health, and acute trauma care. USU also  has graduate programs in oral biology, biomedical sciences and public health committed to  excellence in research. The University's research program covers a wide range of areas  important to both the military and public health. For more information about USU and its  programs, visit

Journal Link: Journal of Surgical Research