July 22, 2008
Valerie Collins Thomas Joins National Trauma Institute As Development Director
Valerie Collins Thomas, a longtime fundraiser in the state of Pennsylvania has been recruited to be Development Director by the National Trauma Institute, a non-profit, grant-giving organization for trauma related research. She will be responsible for the National Trauma Institute's philanthropic and private donor fundraising efforts.
Ms. Thomas was the Director of Planned Giving for the Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania where she raised over $500,000 in charitable gifts and donations; and developed funding for a $2M endowed chair. Prior to that, she was Director of Development for the Allentown Art Museum in Allentown, Pennsylvania where she was responsible for funding a $1.6M operating budget.
The National Trauma Institute's mission is to fund short-term (3-5 years) trauma-related research that will change and improve current practices and procedures and thereby lower the number of deaths due to trauma. Trauma-related deaths are the number one cause of death for people ages 1-44; and trauma-related injuries occur everyday throughout America and cost our country billions of dollars in treatment and rehabilitation. Many Level 1 Trauma Centers throughout the country have closed due to lack of funds. Time consuming and repetitive surgeries, such as those necessary with traumatic injuries, become too expensive for health plans to cover or for hospitals to get reimbursed. The number of casualties and injuries has increased due to the war and the opportunity to learn and implement best practices in emergency situations needs to be researched and proven. As has been shown with diseases such as AIDS and Cancer, when funds are allocated to research and practices are changed, the number of deaths are reduced.