Brosch Awarded Major Jonathan Letterman Award for Medical Excellence
The U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command's Dr. Laura Ruse Brosch, Ph.D., R.N., received the top honor at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine's eighth annual Major Jonathan Letterman Award Dinner Oct. 8 in Bethesda, Maryland.
In addition to Brosch, the other USAMRMC subordinate commands and employees recognized as 2015 Letterman honorees were:
The Letterman Award was established to celebrate Maj. Jonathan Letterman's visionary work as medical director of the Army of the Potomac. He is credited as being the originator of the modern methods for medical organization in armies or battlefield medical management. His system or organization enabled thousands of wounded men to be recovered and treated during the Civil War. The award recognizes those who keep his tradition of medical innovation alive today.
"I was so surprised and honored to win this award," said Brosch, adding that she sees the award as really a recognition of her entire team rather than herself as an individual.
A retired Army Nurse Corps colonel, Brosch is the director of the Office of Research Protections at the USAMRMC. Brosch was nominated for her work by Col. Todd Rasmussen, director of the Combat Casualty Care Research Program.
In his nomination of her, Rasmussen stated that Brosch is "distinguished by her tireless work for the rights and well-being of patients ... Brosch is both a great leader and a great advisor in the field of military medicine."
Since beginning her career as a civilian nurse over 40 years ago, Brosch has worked to ensure high-quality care for recipients of military medical care. But it is her work in support of the Department of Defense's combat casualty care mission that she considers among her proudest achievements.
"During the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, we recognized the importance of conducting research in the field to answer important patient care questions, and at the time there was no mechanism in place to conduct research in theater," said Brosch. "We not only established a Human Research Protections Program to oversee the DOD research in a combatant command, but we were also able to support 16 deployed combat casualty care teams to gather data and ensure that all studies were conducted with full research protections that complied with all federal and DOD requirements. "
The joint combat casualty care research teams supported by the USAMRMC were the first in-theater research team since the Vietnam War, and the research they conducted during those conflicts contributed to the lowest case fatality rate in the history of warfare.
Widely recognized as a national expert in emergency research, she is considered by many in Army Medicine to be one of the Department of Defense's most valuable resources for complex regulatory, human protection and ethical issues.
"I love my job," said Brosch. "The Army has provided me with so many opportunities to contribute to the DOD health care mission. I have been able to do everything from completing my doctorate as an active duty Army nurse, to conducting Army research, and now I have the privilege of supporting many researchers in doing their work to find better ways to care for our Service Members and retirees. I have the best job in the DOD."