"Back in 2003, when I first deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom, it was my hope that I could tell a mother or father that if their son or daughter was wounded in Iraq, the care they were going to get was as good as in a Level-One trauma center back in Cincinnati. Now, five tours later, it is really kind of amazing to me because now what I do in Cincinnati is tell mothers and fathers in Cincinnati that their kids are alive because of what we've learned and brought back from this theater and other theaters home and other lessons learned to our civilian trauma centers."
This is Memorial Day weekend, a time that America stops each year to remember the men and women who have served the nation in war. At a moment when United States troops are engaged in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, it seems particularly appropriate to focus on efforts of several local service members.
As a member of the board of the Henry Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions at the University of Cincinnati, I had the opportunity to help create their current exhibit on the 25th general hospital entitled "Courage and Skill in World War II." Through that process, I got to know better two surgeons who have served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have invited them to join me for the entire program this morning.
Jay Johannigman is the director of the Division of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care at University Hospital. He is a colonel in the United States Air Force Reserves and has served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also the assistant medical director for the Cincinnati Fire Department. Dr. Johannigman heads the University of Cincinnati Institute for Military Medicine, which is one of three state-of-the-art U.S. Air Force Centers for the Sustainment of Trauma and Readiness Skills (C-STARS).
And Dr. Brad Wenstrup, a surgeon with Wellington Orthopedics. Dr. Wenstrup also serves as a physician in the United States Army Reserve and has served on active duty in Iraq as the head of surgery at Abu Ghraib. Dr. Wenstrup is active in the community in many ways, including running two years ago for mayor of the city of Cincinnati.