ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball today announced a bold $3 million investment in the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) in Downtown Baltimore. This investment will assist Shock Trauma in expanding its community outreach efforts and enhancing post-discharge support. Photos of the event can be seen here.

When I first took office in December 2018, I received a call no one wants to receive – a County Government employee had been injured on the job, a tree had fallen on him. However, thanks to Shock Trauma’s unbelievable medical team, he is still here with us today. With Shock Trauma receiving nearly 400 Howard County residents annually, we are incredibly fortunate to have this premiere trauma center right in our backyard. Investing in this local healthcare institution will not only help fortify Shock Trauma's mission to establish world-class standards in prevention and management of critical injury and illness, but also help ensure our residents have access to top-notch healthcare when they most need it.

Calvin Ball
Howard County Executive

With County backing, Shock Trauma plans to expand its community outreach efforts significantly, which includes broadening injury prevention education, with a focus on safe driving and fall prevention, enhancing violence intervention programs, large scale expansion of Stop the Bleed training, and providing trauma survivor support services. Additionally, Shock Trauma aims to bolster support for patient’s post-discharge, ensuring a seamless transition and ongoing connection to care and community resources. This initiative emphasizes Shock Trauma’s commitment to comprehensive care and long-term well-being.

I want to thank County Executive Ball and the citizens of Howard County for this generous and important gift that will allow us to continue doing the work we believe in. As a head and neck cancer surgeon, I have trained and practiced in many states across the nation, and I’ve never seen any trauma system like the one we have here in Maryland. The level of coordination, the partnerships across the state and the readiness to deliver the highest level of care, 24-7, is truly unique. As Dr. Scalea has said, ‘Shock Trauma is a gift from the people of Maryland to the people of Maryland.'

Bert W. O'Malley, MD
CEO and President, UMMC

In addition to this vital funding, the County also continues to do its part to ensure its personnel are responding as effectively and efficiently to medical trauma incidents. In September 2023, Ball announced the launch of the County’s groundbreaking Whole Blood program, the first to be implemented at a ground-based EMS Department in the state of Maryland. The Whole Blood Program allows trained Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services EMS supervisors to provide whole blood transfusions to critical patients before they reach the hospital, increasing a patient’s chance of survival. Since being implemented, nine EMS patients have received prehospital blood before arriving at Shock Trauma.

“I thank the county executive and council for stepping up. The best trauma care in the world is available 24/7 for our citizens. But it costs money to provide it and to constantly improve. What was science fiction 20 years ago is now standard practice and it will be so again in the future,” said D. Bruce Poole, Esq., Chair, Board of Visitors, R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center.

In addition to allocating funding to Shock Trauma, Ball’s Fiscal Year 2025 proposed budget also includes funding for the county’s only hospital – the Johns Hopkins Howard County Medical Center, as well as Sheppard Pratt in Elkridge and other vital health institutions serving Howard County residents. These investments aim to decrease emergency room wait times and increase the health, wellness and survivability of county residents and visitors.

“For the last 50 years, the citizens of Maryland have had access to the finest trauma care in the world,” said Dr. Thomas Scalea, Physician-In-Chief, R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, Chief for Critical Care Services at the University of Maryland Medical System and The Honorable Francis X. Kelly Distinguished Professor of Trauma Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “The kind of partnership we have with the people of Maryland, our counties and state legislators doesn’t exist anywhere else. I want to express my gratitude to County Executive Ball for stepping up and leading the charge to ensure our unparalleled system is preserved for the future. Shock Trauma has made countless contributions to the trauma field and there’s much more on the horizon. Buckle your seatbelt, we’re not done yet.”

R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center

Named in remembrance of U.S. military surgeon Dr. R Adams Cowley, who is considered the father of trauma care and popularized the term “golden hour,” Shock Trauma is the heart of Maryland’s world-renowned Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system. Our nation's first and only integrated trauma hospital and a national model of excellence, Shock Trauma treats more 6,500 patients annually. With a 95 percent survival rate, Shock Trauma is dedicated to treating the severely injured and employ groundbreaking research and innovative medical procedures with one goal in mind, to save lives.

Media Contacts
Safa Hira, Director of Communications

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