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National Trauma Awareness Month 2019
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"Firearm Injury Prevention: Everyday, Everyone, Everywhere"


Injury and violence prevention have been a core value of the American Trauma Society (ATS) since we were founded in 1968. As an integral part of our mission, the ATS continues to be a national leader in preventing death and disability from traumatic injuries. These efforts continue to drive the organization's activities, resource development, and advocacy.  

The American Trauma Society was instrumental in having May of each year designated as National Trauma Awareness Month (NTAM) by President Ronald Reagan and Congress in 1988. Since then, ATS has worked with other trauma organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC), USSG, SafeKids, National Safety Council, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), and the Society of Trauma Nurses (STN) to develop injury prevention and trauma awareness materials for use by our members in their communities. Each year, the ATS works with its partners to designate a new focus for injury and violence prevention and awareness during National Trauma Awareness Month. 


This year’s focus is Firearm Injury Prevention. Deaths and injuries caused by firearms can happen in any community, to anyone, and at any time. According to the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO):

  •  Firearm injury and death claims the lives of eight children and 75 adults each day in the U.S.
  •  Over 39,773 people died as a result of firearm violence in 2017—one person every 13 minutes.
  •  That same year, almost two-thirds of all firearm-related deaths were suicides.
  •  Interpersonal violence accounts for approximately one-eighth of medical care spending on injury in the United States.

We recognize that communities will assess the type of firearm injuries and deaths that impact their area and focus their prevention efforts in that area. To support these efforts, the Injury Prevention Committee of the ATS collaborated with the STN to identify five key areas of concern and assembled resources for trauma centers, hospitals and their communities to choose from as they prepare their own initiatives this May and year-round. These five key areas are:

As a community of hospital-based injury and violence prevention professionals, the ATS understands that to have impact, programs need to address all age groups, fit the characteristics of the community (urban, suburban or rural), include families and their children in school and at play, and connect with the behavioral health issues so many face today throughout the nation. Firearm injury prevention is not a sole source problem. 

Although we highlight injury and violence prevention every May during National Trauma Awareness Month (NTAM), it is also a year-round, lifelong effort. Please join us this year as we work to reduce firearm injury-related death and disability. Choose the key area that fits your community best and click on that area to begin!

Download the 2019 National Trauma Awareness Month logo here.

We also encourage trauma centers to have a “Trauma Survivors’ Day” to reunite patients and families who have been served by the trauma center. Visit the TSN web site for the materials to plan the celebration. Click on “Get Involved”, and then National Trauma Survivors Day.
We urge you to start planning activities and make this year’s celebration the best one yet! 


If you have materials that you would like included in these resources, please contact ATS Member Services at 1-800-556-7890 or

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