May 2024

Funding Bills Secure the Future of Trauma Care for Maryland

May 24, 2024    |  

Dozens of R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center team members, trauma survivors, and supporters traveled to the state capital on May 16 to support Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, Senate President Bill Ferguson, and House Speaker Adrienne Jones as they signed a consequential bill into law expanding annual funding for Maryland’s renowned statewide trauma system. It will ensure access to world-class trauma care for Marylanders well into to the future.

Senate Bill 1092, sponsored by Sen. Guy Guzzone, and House Bill 1439, sponsored by Del. Emily Shetty, ensure long-term funding stability for trauma centers and the larger emergency medical services system across the state. The legislation also provides the resources necessary to continue to evolve and advance the delivery of care for trauma patients.

New funding supports hospital-based trauma centers and care providers through the Maryland Trauma Physician Services Fund, as well as the entities that constitute the core of the statewide trauma system: the Maryland State Police Aviation Command; the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems; the Senator William H. Amoss Fire, Rescue, and Ambulance Fund; the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute; and the Shock Trauma Center, which stands at the heart of Maryland’s coveted national model for trauma care. 

Gov. Wes Moore, Senate President Bill Ferguson, and House Speaker Adrienne Jones were supported by Shock Trauma team members, survivors, and supporters as they signed Senate Bill 1092 and House Bill 1439 on May 16.

Gov. Wes Moore, Senate President Bill Ferguson, and House Speaker Adrienne Jones were supported by Shock Trauma team members, survivors, and supporters as they signed Senate Bill 1092 and House Bill 1439 on May 16.

“The kind of partnership we have with our state legislature and our governor doesn’t exist anywhere else,” said Thomas Scalea, MD, Shock Trauma’s Physician-In-Chief, 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 (UMSOM). 

“Over the last several months, our Shock Trauma leadership, team members and many survivors came together in an extraordinary way to inform legislators about the need,”  Scalea said. “We called on the Maryland General Assembly to find a path forward that would preserve our state’s unparalleled system for generations to come. The need was great, and our lawmakers once again stood up to say that saving lives is important to the people of Maryland.”

Moore’s signing of this bill marks the first significant increase in funding for the statewide trauma system in nearly three decades. For Shock Trauma, Maryland’s only Primary Adult Resource Center, the state’s highest level of trauma care (above Level I), the need for additional funding had reached a critical point. As support from the Maryland Emergency Medical System Operations Fund remained relatively flat, the costs associated with meeting the renowned center’s state-mandated 24-7, on-demand state of readiness has gone up exponentially.

Shock Trauma treats 6,500 critically injured patients each year, among the highest volume for any trauma center in the United States. The center serves as the backstop for Maryland’s entire trauma system — 30 percent of Shock Trauma’s patients are transferred from other hospitals, with 20 percent of those transfers coming from other state-designated trauma centers. Shock Trauma leaders say one of the biggest benefits of being fully funded is that the center will have an even greater ability to receive transfers.

“We are extremely proud of our unparalleled capabilities and our ability to serve the citizens of Maryland as an innovator and role model for trauma systems throughout the U.S. and the world,” said Kristie Snedeker, DPT, Shock Trauma’s vice president. "We want to express our gratitude to Speaker Jones and Senate President Ferguson for lending their support and to Senator Guzzone and Delegate Shetty for their tireless dedication to ensuring our world-class trauma care system is preserved for the future. This historical investment will save lives.”

In addition to continuing to offer an extraordinary level of dedicated, around-the-clock readiness to treat the most critically injured patients from every community across Maryland, Shock Trauma plans to expand its community outreach efforts significantly, broadening its injury prevention education initiatives, such as safe driving and fall prevention, and further expanding its free Stop the Bleed training with an ambitious goal of reaching every Marylander with these lifesaving skills. The center also will continue to bolster its trauma survivor support services, working to ensuring seamless engagement with community resources post-discharge.

“I want to add my appreciation to our legislators, Governor Moore and the citizens of Maryland,” said Bert W. O’Malley, MD, president and CEO of the University of Maryland Medical Center. “Thank you for standing up for all Marylanders and not taking the finest trauma care system in the world for granted. While no one ever expects to end up in Shock Trauma, we are all incredibly fortunate that it stands in 24-7 readiness for anyone in critical need. It is a privilege to be able to fulfill our lifesaving mission every day while educating the trauma care physicians of the future.”

Mark T. Gladwin, MD, who is the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and dean, UMSOM, and vice president for medical affairs, University of Maryland, Baltimore, added: “This much-needed increase in funding will enable our internationally recognized trauma surgeons and team members to continue our vital, statewide mission, where we take on the most difficult and complex cases of blood loss and tissue crushing injury, with an unparalleled 96 percent survival rate. We are grateful to Governor Moore and the General Assembly for their support of a world-class trauma center that serves a model around the world for trauma research, education, training and lifesaving patient care.”

About the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center

The R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland was the first fully integrated trauma center in the world and remains at the epicenter for trauma research, patient care, and teaching, both nationally and internationally. Shock Trauma is where the “golden hour” concept of trauma was born and where many lifesaving practices in modern trauma medicine were pioneered. Shock Trauma also is at the heart of the Maryland’s unparalleled Emergency Medical Service System.

About the University of Maryland Medical Center

The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) is composed of two hospital campuses in Baltimore: the 800-bed flagship institution of the 11-hospital University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) and the 200-bed UMMC Midtown Campus. Both campuses are academic medical centers for training physicians and health professionals and for pursuing research and innovation to improve health. UMMC’s downtown campus is a national and regional referral center for trauma, cancer care, neurosciences, advanced cardiovascular care, and women’s and children’s health and has one of the largest solid organ transplant programs in the country. All physicians on staff at the downtown campus are clinical faculty physicians of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. The UMMC Midtown Campus medical staff is predominately faculty physicians specializing in a wide spectrum of medical and surgical subspecialties, primary care for adults and children, and behavioral health. UMMC Midtown has been a teaching hospital for 140 years and is located 1 mile away from the downtown campus. For more information, visit

About the University of Maryland School of Medicine

Now in its third century, the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) was chartered in 1807 as the first public medical school in the United States. It continues today as one of the fastest growing, top-tier biomedical research enterprises in the world — with 46 academic departments, centers, institutes, and programs, and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals, including members of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and a distinguished two-time winner of the Albert E. Lasker Award in Medical Research. With an operating budget of more than $1.2 billion, the School of Medicine works closely in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide research-intensive, academic, and clinically based care for nearly 2 million patients each year. The School of Medicine has more than $500 million in extramural funding, with most of its academic departments highly ranked among all medical schools in the nation in research funding. As one of the seven professional schools that make up the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine has a total population of nearly 9,000 faculty and staff, including 2,500 students, trainees, residents, and fellows. The School of Medicine, which ranks as the eighth highest among public medical schools in research productivity (according to the Association of American Medical Colleges profile) is an innovator in translational medicine, with 606 active patents and 52 startup companies. In the latest U.S. News & World Report ranking of the Best Medical Schools, published in 2023, the School of Medicine is ranked No. 10 among the 92 public medical schools in the U.S., and in the top 16 percent (No. 32) of all 192 public and private U.S. medical schools. The School of Medicine works locally, nationally, and globally, with research and treatment facilities in 36 countries around the world. For more information, visit

About the University of Maryland Medical System

The University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) is an academic private health system, focused on delivering compassionate, high-quality care and putting discovery and innovation into practice at the bedside. It partners with the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the University of Maryland, Baltimore, who educate the state’s future health care professionals. UMMS is an integrated network of care, delivering 25 percent of all hospital care in urban, suburban, and rural communities across Maryland. UMMS puts academic medicine within reach through primary and specialty care delivered at 11 hospitals, including the flagship University of Maryland Medical Center, the system’s anchor institution in downtown Baltimore, as well as through a network of University of Maryland Urgent Care centers and more than 150 other locations in 13 counties. For more information, visit