COVID-19: Opportunity to Re-Imagine Our Response to a National Medical Crisis

Kyle N. Remick*, Brendan G. Carr, Eric Elster

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The US is facing the most significant health challenge since the 1918–1919 flu pandemic. A response commensurate with this challenge requires engaged leadership and organization across private and public sectors that span federal agencies, public and private healthcare systems, professional organizations, and industry. In the trauma and emergency care communities, we have long discussed the tension between competition in healthcare and the need for regional cooperation to respond to large-scale disasters. The response to COVID-19 has required unprecedented coordination of private and public sector entities. Given the competitive nature of the US health system, these sectors do not regularly work together despite the requirement to do so during a national emergency. This crisis has exposed how structural aspects of the present healthcare system have limited our ability to rapidly transition to a whole-nation response during a national crisis. We propose a renewed focus on the intersection of the healthcare system and national security, with the express goal of creating a public-private partnership focused on leveraging our healthcare infrastructure to support the national security interests of the US.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-796
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021
Externally publishedYes


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