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Dr. Tom Aufderheide Elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences

Tom P. Aufderheide, MD, an internationally recognized researcher in the field of emergency cardiac care at The Medical College of Wisconsin, was one of 65 people in the United States and five foreign associates elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences. Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

Dr. Aufderheide is professor of emergency medicine and associate chair of research affairs for the department of emergency medicine. He co-directs the Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s Adult Translational Research Unit, is a senior attending staff member at Froedtert Hospital, and is one of only a handful of nationally-recognized physician/scientists actively engaged in National Institutes of Health (NIH)-supported, out-of-hospital cardiac resuscitation research that is significantly improving national and international clinical practice.

“We are delighted at the high honor bestowed on one of our outstanding clinicians and researchers. His election to the Institute of Medicine is a well deserved distinction and is a positive reflection on the Medical College,” said Jonathan Ravdin, MD, dean and executive vice president.

New members are elected by current active members through a highly selective process that recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health. A diversity of talent among IOM's membership is assured by the Institute's charter, which stipulates that at least one-quarter of the membership is selected from outside the health professions, for example, from such fields as the natural, social, and behavioral sciences; law; engineering; and the humanities.

Upon learning of the election, Dr. Aufderheide said, “I am thrilled and deeply honored to have received this recognition. I look forward to serving and contributing to this highly respected institution.”
The newly elected members raise IOM's total active membership to 1,610 and the number of foreign associates to 93. With an additional 75 members holding emeritus status, IOM's total membership is 1,778.

According to Stephen Hargarten, MD, professor and chairman and emergency medicine, “Dr. Aufderheide is an exemplar translational research scientist. He takes ideas and studies from the laboratory and translates them into life-saving interventions. His dedication to the field of emergency cardiac care and resuscitation has led to many lives saved, not only in Milwaukee, but all over the world.”

Dr. Aufderheide is Principal Investigator in three NIH-funded, national, multi-center, clinical trials, including the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC) that investigates promising clinical interventions for cardiac arrest and severe traumatic injury, the ResQTrial which evaluates the benefit of improved hemodynamics during CPR on outcome for patients with cardiac arrest, and the Neurological Emergency Treatment Trials (NETT) network, which promotes and implements promising clinical interventions in neurologic emergencies.

A Fellow of the American Heart Association and President of the Citizen CPR Foundation, Dr. Aufderheide has served as principal and co-principal investigator on many other major national studies, including the Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) Trial, which doubled survival rates for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, and provided objective data on which to base national health care policy, currently implemented throughout our communities today.

His research has also had a significant impact on the practice of emergency medicine. Dr. Aufderheide pioneered the use of paramedic-acquired out-of-hospital 12-lead ECGs for rapid identification of heart attack patients and reduction in time delays to definitive treatment. He identified the detrimental effects of excessive ventilation rates and incomplete chest recoil during CPR on outcomes for patients with cardiac arrest. Through innovative CPR techniques and use of the impedance threshold device, Dr. Aufderheide has doubled the effectiveness of CPR. These studies have changed CPR guidelines, international clinical practice, and have substantially improved outcomes for patients with cardiac emergencies.

Dr. Aufderheide was a formal consultant to the U.S. Assistant Surgeon General for implementation of public access defibrillation in federal buildings, and was honored by the State of Wisconsin for his work on behalf of Automated External Defibrillation legislation.

A 1979 graduate of the University of Minnesota Medical School, where he also completed a residency in internal medicine, Dr. Aufderheide completed his emergency medicine residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and joined the faculty in 1986.

The Institute of Medicine is unique in its structure as both an honorific membership organization and an advisory organization. Established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences, IOM has become recognized as a national resource for independent, scientifically informed analysis and recommendations on health issues.

With their election, members make a commitment to volunteer their service on IOM committees, boards, and other activities. Studies and initiatives during the past year include: a review of the long-term effects of traumatic brain injury among military personnel; an assessment of the health effects of lack of insurance; recommendations for comparative effectiveness research priorities; new guidelines for how much weight women should gain during pregnancy; a blueprint for American leadership in advancing global health; a strategy for preventing medical conflicts of interest; and a series of meetings on improving health care value through evidence-based medicine.

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Page Updated 07/23/2013