Raul Coimbra, MD, PhD, FACS, is the only trauma surgeon in the western United States recently invited to be part of the Global Alliance for the Care of the Injured (GACI) – a World Health Organization initiative to improve trauma care in low and middle income countries.
“One of the goals of the GACI is to teach standards in trauma care, data collection, injury surveillance and quality improvement,” said Coimbra, chief, Division of Trauma, Surgical Critical Care and Burns at UC San Diego Health System. “It is crucial that we share our experiences in the United States around the world. Trauma is a major public health problem, and extending high quality of care to patients worldwide will also improve the way Americans traveling receive health care.”
As president of the first World Trauma Congress held in Rio de Janeiro last year and president of the World Coalition for Trauma Care, a collaborative of multiple professional organizations to advance trauma care, education, prevention and systems development, Coimbra is deeply devoted to international outreach.
“Trauma is a disease that exhibits a pattern with causes that can be defined. It is preventable. If we treat trauma as a disease, with efforts toward prevention, we’ll save lives and make people and communities safer,” said Coimbra.
UC San Diego Health System established the region’s first Level I Trauma Center, and the highly trained personnel and special facilities are part of the collaborative San Diego Trauma System. Coimbra is recognized internationally as a trauma care expert and pioneer. The San Diego Trauma System has become a model for trauma centers around the world and for the upcoming 2014 World Soccer Cup and 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
“Statistics show that wherever a trauma program is in place, death rates for trauma cases decrease by at least 25 percent,” said Coimbra.
As part of the GACI outreach, UC San Diego Health System’s trauma program will take center stage as an example of a world class program that is bringing opportunities for research and education to underserved areas.
“Being part of this prestigious group is giving our trauma center visibility beyond our county, region and nation,” said Coimbra. “It is an honor to be part of this global project and to truly be making a difference.”
Learn more about UC San Diego Health System’s Trauma Center at: http://health.ucsd.edu/specialties/surgery/trauma-burn/trauma-center/Pages/default.aspx