The Yes 2 Save Lives Campaign launched Wednesday, urging Georgia voters to support the state’s trauma care system and vote yes on Amendment 2, a constitutional amendment on the Nov. 2 ballot.
For an annual car registration fee of $10, a dedicated funding source will be established for Georgia trauma care, which is currently "fragile, fragmented and dangerously underfunded," officials said.
The group stated, "Georgia only has 16 designated trauma care centers but needs at least 30 to meet the needs of Georgia’s population. Currently, one in 10 Georgians live too far from a trauma center to receive life-saving care. Even established trauma centers may have to downgrade services or close without dedicated funding streams.
"Georgia’s trauma death rate is 20 percent higher than the national average because trauma care facilities and staffing are severely limited. Car crashes are the leading cause of trauma injuries in Georgia; other causes include serious accidents at work and home."
“No one likes to think about the need for trauma care,” said Dr. Dennis Ashley, campaign spokesperson and chief of trauma services at the Medical Center of Central Georgia. “But we can’t help people who don’t get to us in time. There is a critical window of 60 minutes after a serious injury to get life-saving care. For children, the window is only 30 minutes.”
The new car tag fee, expected to generate $80 million annually, will go directly toward training more 911 professionals, first responders, critical care nurses and physicians, equipping trauma centers with the latest equipment and life-saving technology, and upgrading more emergency rooms to trauma centers. Funds will go into a designated trust fund and can only be used for trauma care improvements.
“Trauma care is a life and death matter,” said Dr. Ashley. “Traumatic accidents and injuries happen in a split second. Every day, families are at risk of losing a loved one because the state’s trauma network is inadequate. We have a window of opportunity to fix this problem by voting ‘yes’ Nov. 2 on Amendment 2.”