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A team from the US Navy will gain intensive training in treating traumatic injuries from experts at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. Credit: Kylie Cooper

Penn Presbyterian Medical Center’s Trauma Division launched a three-year partnership with the United States Navy to optimize trauma care for military clinicians.

Representatives from Penn Medicine and the United States Navy signed an agreement on Sept. 9 to mark the beginning of the partnership, known as the Naval Strategic Health Alliance for Readiness and Performance. The 11 Navy team members with deployments around the globe will promote new approaches to civilian and military health care.

"This partnership will work to develop a blueprint for other future partnerships between the military and civilian health systems, and will be of great benefit to both parties,” C. William Schwab, the founding chief of Penn Medicine’s Trauma Program and a veteran of the Navy himself, told Penn Medicine News.

The Navy team members joining the division reflect the makeup of the surgical teams deployed to active combat, with four physicians, three nurses, a physician assistant, a surgical technician, and a corpsman, Penn Medicine News reported. They will become part of the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center Trauma Division and its academic clinical departments — including surgery, nursing, and anesthesiology — for about three years.

The team will undergo intensive training in treating traumatic injuries from experts at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center to hone their skills for when they are deployed, Penn Medicine News reported. 

“This Navy team will learn invaluable lessons that they will bring back to the Navy Medicine that will help them and us better understand and prepare for future deployments,” Rear Admiral Bruce Gillingham, surgeon general of the Navy, told Penn Medicine News.

Navy medicine has partnerships with other civilian trauma centers and hospitals, but the new program with Penn is its most comprehensive. In February, the Navy formed a partnership with WakeMed Hospital, based in North Carolina, to work alongside their emergency medicine, intensive care unit, and trauma surgeon teams to prepare military medical staff for high-trauma locations in combat.