Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It is a great honor and privilege for me to serve as president of the Panamerican Trauma Society. In the past few years, we have seen our society grow in all aspects:  academic, social, membership, scholarship, research, relations and international interactions with other major societies and organizations in the Americas and worldwide. We have forged important alliances with prestigious organizations including the WHO Global alliance for the care of the injured, and have and will continue to reach out to any society and organization that hold the values of our society. These values include: gratitude and respect to what we have been given by our founders, and the relentless pursuit to improve the care of those who have been entrusted to us, relying not only on the most evidence-based practices, but most notably on profound and unmeasurable experiences. Our society treasures those experiences.  It is precisely those values that drew me to the Panamerican Trauma Society and makes me proud to serve its members. The medical and scientific impact and the achievement of our society is palpable.  Yet the sense of family and camaraderie remains as the bond that holds us and attracts so many to join.

I am most proud in seeing the excitement and energy of the young members of our society. The International Trauma Leagues and the international student chapter have been the highlight of our congresses and the number one contributors to our scientific competitions. Most important for us now is the challenge and the responsibility that we owe to these young PTS members who look to our society  for new direction pertinent to their current and local challenges, in the field of evidence-based care,  and for significant and meaningful scientific contribution. I have always loved the PTS, mostly for this hunger that I witness in its young members. I invite all our affiliated societies and members to see the incredible work that is being achieved by the Trauma Leagues and to create their own PTS Trauma League chapters - you will find in the PTS a place where the voices of our young are not only heard, but guided, nourished, and cherished, with dedicated leadership and sessions in all our congresses, international scientific competitions, scholarships, established mentorships, and an avenue to publish their work in the PTS scientific  journal.

Equally important to the success of our Society has been the incredible work of our committees infused with new blood and energy of young educators and future trauma leaders. The work and achievement of our education and research committee, our membership committee and our trauma systems committee has been impressive and vital to the new vision of our society. We strive to become a system-based society, rich in its clinical experience, but methodological in its approach to establishing framework and structure to the management of the injured and the acute surgical patient.  I encourage all to be involved in the various committees – to quote Dr. Raul Coimbra, PTS past president, when I first approached him about PTS: “the door is always open.”

What I found most impressive has been the variety that is now part and essential for PTS. We cannot talk about Trauma systems, if our Society is not represented by the very people that form the system - doctors, nurses, students, administrators, prehospital medical personnel, emergency room physicians, and advanced practice providers. I am very proud in the variety of our membership and the trajectory for this variety to grow and be influential. Equally, we cannot talk about systems, if our society is not involved in creating and advancing the very tools that create the system including data registries and management as well as prehospital and hospital quality improvement initiatives. I encourage all to join our trauma system committee and subcommittees and share in advancing theses exciting initiatives in your own hospital and local societies.  Again the door is open!

It is a great challenge for me this year to serve as PTS president when our society is embarking on a journey to choose a new executive director that will carry our society further in achieving its mission, and in remaining a viable, vibrant and solvent society, with a great promise to be independent of the support of a university. Without a doubt, we are indebted to the significant support that Virginia Commonwealth University is extending to our society. Yet, we are equally committed to increasing our investment and donation initiatives to achieve a financially solvent society capable of supporting the multitude of new academic projects and ongoing research scholarships and fellowships. This will be the main challenge of the upcoming executive director apart from the large shoes that will need to be filled in the wake of the  humble but effective leadership of Dr. Ivatury, to whom the society and its members owe much gratitude.

I will be remise in not mentioning the other important leadership change with the nomination of Dr. Esteban Foianini to the secretary treasurer position, which I personally consider as the most challenging and the most rewarding position of our society. I have the full confidence that Dr. Foianini will do a phenomenal job. He has already shown his great love and capabilities for the PTS family by hosting an incredibly successful and memorable PTS congress in Bolivia last year. I want to congratulate Dr. Foianini and the entire team!

Now I will end my message with a wide open invitation for our upcoming Congress in Maceió in Brazil. The expectations continue to grow and I am certain this will be an unprecedented event!  We have a comprehensive, high quality and diverse scientific program, with challenging and controversial trauma cases to discuss in the North vs. South arena as well as emergency surgery cases in the America vs. Europe arena. As always, the trauma and emergency surgery experts will be leading active and dynamic dialogue as we pair years of experiences with the latest scientific studies and evidence.  Maceió, with its wide and large white beaches is absolutely beautiful, and a great opportunity for the entire family to enjoy.  All kinds of attractive social activities have been planned!   I invite all of you to join us for an incredible congress! I look forward to seeing everyone.

My warm regards to all,

Michel B. Aboutanos, MD, MPH, FACS
PTS President

Past Presidents 

Gustavo P. Fraga, MD  
Manuel Lorenzo, MD  
Anamaria Pacheco, MD  
Juan Carlos Puyana, MD  
Renato Poggetti, MD  
Raul Coimbra, MD  
David Ortega, MD  
Aurelio Rodriguez, MD  
Samir Rasslam, MD  
Andrew Peitzman, MD  
Jorge Neira, MD  
David Mulder, MD  
Carlos Morales, MD  
Ernest Moore, MD  
Kimball Maull, MD  
Charles Lucas, MD  
Juan Lombardi, MD  
Rao Ivatury, MD  
David Hoyt, MD  
Francisco Holguin, MD  
Gerado Gomez, MD  
Jose Eduardo Gracia, MD  
Ricardo Ferrada, MD  
David Feliciano, MD  
Susan Briggs, MD  
Dario Birolini, MD  
Armando Baqueiro, MD  


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