History of the ATSPA
The ATSPA has come a long way since applying for its charter in 1972. Working with its member hospitals, the organization now reaches all corners of the state with trauma prevention programs and resources. The ATSPA reached a turning point in 1980 when Dr. William Host, from Tyler Memorial Hospital, became president of the board of directors and aggressively sought support for the growing organization.
In 1987, the late Dr. John M. Templeton Jr., pediatric surgeon and director of trauma at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, became the new board president and the late Julia Cox was named executive director. Templeton and Cox continued the efforts of Host on behalf of the ATSPA when they visited the Pennsylvania Legislature to request state funding.
Presenting data from the National Head Injury Foundation, they showed how the state could save between $3 to $5 million in life-time costs if just one person was saved from living life as a quadriplegic. This resulted in the ATSPA receiving its first state appropriation, which opened new doors for the organization.
Hospitals were recruited as members and the ATSPA developed trauma prevention programs for these members. The organization has been very fortunate to receive state appropriations every year since the initial request in 1987. The organization strives to be loyal stewards of that money, providing the legislature with an accounting of its trauma prevention efforts every year.
With progression came expansion and in 1989, the ATSPA joined forces with the office of the Cumberland County Coroner to obtain funds from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for the creation of South Central PA Highway Safety. This department of the ATSPA focuses on transportation safety, including preventing distracted driving, teen driver safety and many other topics. Other changes included the restructuring of the board to reflect a wider geographical and occupational representation.
More recently, the ATSPA was chosen as Pennsylvania Future Business Leaders of America’s (PA-FBLA) State Project for the 2007-2008 and 2012-2013 school years, and the organization is applying for consideration for the 2015-2016 project year. ATSPA continues to work with PA-FBLA advisors and students to prevent trauma throughout the Commonwealth.