FCOT Chair Remarks to FTSAC - January 2022

On January 18, 2022, FCOT Chair, Peter A. Pappas, MD, FACS, addressed the Florida Trauma System Advisory Council. Dr. Pappas' comments can be read below:

Distinguished members of the Florida Trauma System Advisory Council,

Good afternoon and thank you for the opportunity to speak today.  I am Dr. Peter A Pappas, Chair of the American College of Surgeons Florida Committee on Trauma.  It is my honor to be chosen for this role. I assumed my responsibilities in October of 2021, taking over from my mentor, friend and former instructor, Dr. Nicholas Namias.  I want to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Namias for his leadership of FCOT and for setting the stage for our future growth and contributions to Florida’s incredible system of Trauma Care.

It is also my honor to be FCOT Chair during this Centenary Year of the ACS Committee on Trauma.  Since it’s founding in 1922, the ACS COT has championed the care of the injured patient and is the national and indeed global gold standard for Trauma Care.  The Florida Committee is proud to uphold this hundred-year tradition.  Our only goal is optimal care of the trauma patient and supporting our great trauma centers, their leaders, and their providers in achieving this every day and every night for all patients, wherever they may be, within the borders of our great State.

To that end, being able to build on the work of those great Trauma leaders who have come before me, I have been able to institute a restructuring of our committee structure that has the potential to make FCOT more responsive to the needs of our Trauma Community, and better prepare us to be a partner in building the 21st century Trauma system that is to come.  FCOT’s constituent committees, led by our FCOT Vice Chairs, includes:


  • Bringing together providers across the spectrum of Trauma Care to review our state trauma data and evaluate both our strengths and our opportunities as a system.


  • ATLS: Supporting access to quality Advanced Trauma Life Support training courses for Florida’s Trauma Surgeons, Emergency Medicine Physicians, advanced practice providers and trainees respectively is a core component of FCOT’s mission.  We are striving to both increase the number of certified training sites along with the number of instructors.
  • Rural Trauma Education Committee: By my count some 35 or Florida’s 67 counties are considered rural.  Doing our part to ensure access to optimal trauma care in these counties is an obvious and important focus of our mission.  Beginning in Northwest Florida, The R-TEC committee will seek to bring together providers from trauma centers supporting rural counties to collaborate on trauma education and injury prevention initiatives.
  • Resident Paper Competition: We seek to encourage and support outstanding research in the basic and clinical sciences. 

Level I and Level II Committees

  • Bring together clinicians and clinical leaders from our Level I and II Trauma centers to discuss the unique challenges and opportunities of Level I and Level II centers, respectively

Disaster Management Committee/Emergency Preparedness Committee

  • A critical component for our FCOT in the times we live in.  The committee seeks to coordinate disaster preparedness education and exercises among our state’s Trauma Centers. 

None of this would be possible without the dedicated group of Trauma Surgeons that have accepted my invitation to serve as Vice Chairs, including Dr. Luis Llerena, Vice Chair for Education, Dr. David Ebler Vice Chair for TQIP, Dr. R Steven Smith Vice Chair for Level Is, Dr. Gary Curcio Vice Chair for Level IIs and Dr. Tracy Bilski, Vice Chair for Disaster Preparedness.  I thank them all for their hard work and dedication, along with our committee members and leaders.

The opportunities and challenges before us are indeed significant, as we, together, navigate the dynamic times we live in.  Indeed, 2022 promises to be a critical year for Florida’s trauma system.  High on the agenda of FCOT, as well as our close partner, the Association of Florida Trauma Coordinators, is:

  1. Planning and a timeline for an ACS state-level consultative visit
  2. Finalization of our revised state trauma standards in conjunction with release of the ACS Gray Book for Trauma Standards.  We can all agree that practical and enforceable standards prioritizing patient care and safety is the most elegant way to ensure our trauma providers have the resources they need so that all of Florida’s trauma patients get the care they deserve.
  3. Continuing the dialogue with DOH on what state Trauma site survey process will look like going forward – will they be all virtual, resume as solely in-person at some point, or perhaps even a hybrid of the two
  4. Finally, we look forward to the continued evolution of the Florida Trauma System Advisory Council and the completion of its integration into the decision-making processes of our Florida Trauma System

As I have said the challenges before us are not insignificant, but I believe they are far out-matched by the opportunities and easily overcome by a spirit of collaboration among all stakeholders in our state Trauma System.  Together, we can and will great things for our Trauma System, for our providers, and most important of all, our patient and the people of Florida.

My sincere appreciation to the committee for this time and the opportunity to speak. Thank you,