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Dr. Jay Johannigman’s Mission to Make Whole Blood Accessible in Colorado

Dr. Jay Johannigman's Mission to Make Whole Blood Accessible in Colorado
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In trauma medicine, few individuals have made a lasting impact, like Dr. Jay Johannigman. With a steadfast commitment to advancing the field and improving patient outcomes, Dr. Johannigman has dedicated his career to providing top-notch medical care in civilian and military settings. One of his latest endeavors is to bring whole blood to Colorado, making it accessible to mountain towns such as Aspen, where the availability of blood in trauma emergencies is often a challenge. Explore Dr. Johannigman’s background, achievements, and vision for enhancing regional healthcare. 

A Leader in Trauma Medicine 

With over 35 years of experience as a trauma and critical care surgeon, Dr. Jay Johannigman is a highly respected figure in the medical community. He obtained his AB degree in biology from Kenyon College. He went on to earn his Doctor of Medicine from Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Johannigman further honed his skills through postdoctoral training in trauma and surgical critical care, and he even pursued additional education in Aerospace Medicine at Brooks AFB and the Air War College during his time in the military. 

Military Service and Accomplishments 

Dr. Johannigman’s dedication to medical service extends beyond his civilian career. He has served in the military medical corps for over 40 years and currently holds the rank of COL in the US Army Reserve. Throughout his military tenure, Dr. Johannigman has been deployed on eight combat missions from 2003 to 2021, demonstrating his unwavering commitment to providing medical aid in the most challenging environments. His roles have included CCAT flight surgeon, Trauma “Czar,” Deputy Commander, and Director of Clinical Service for combat hospitals. 

Recognitions and Awards 

Dr. Johannigman’s exceptional contributions have not gone unnoticed. His invaluable service has been recognized with prestigious awards, including the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, and numerous other decorations. These accolades testify to his unwavering dedication to excellence and his profound impact on trauma medicine. 

Bringing Whole Blood to Colorado 

Drawing from his extensive experience in military medicine, Dr. Johannigman has recognized the vital importance of whole blood in trauma care. In Afghanistan, whole blood has proven to be highly effective in saving lives on the battlefield. Unfortunately, access to whole blood is limited in certain regions, especially in remote mountain towns like Aspen, Colorado. Driven by his vision to bridge this gap, Dr. Johannigman aims to make whole blood readily available in Colorado, ensuring that patients in critical condition receive the timely and life-saving interventions they need. 

Leading the Way in San Antonio 

Dr. Johannigman draws inspiration from San Antonio, Texas, leading the United States in whole blood usage. Recognizing the positive impact this has had on patient outcomes, he aspires to replicate this success in Colorado. By leveraging his expertise and leadership as the overseer of St. Anthony’s Level I Trauma and Emergency General Surgery program, Dr. Johannigman aims to establish a robust whole-blood program that meets the region’s unique needs. 

Enhancing Trauma Care in Colorado 

Introducing whole blood in Colorado would revolutionize trauma care, particularly in mountainous regions where accessibility to blood products can be challenging. In emergencies, every second counts, and having a readily available supply of whole blood can mean the difference between life and death. Dr. Johannigman’s vision aligns with the broader goal of improving healthcare outcomes and ensuring that no patient’s life is compromised due to inadequate resources. 


Dr. Jay Johannigman’s exceptional career, spanning both civilian and military medicine, has positioned him as a leading figure in trauma care. His commitment to serving others and his remarkable achievements have garnered his peers’ respect and admiration. Through his vision of bringing whole blood to Colorado, Dr. Johannigman aims to revolutionize trauma care in the region and ensure that even the most remote communities have access to life-saving interventions. Through the dedication and innovation of individuals like Dr. Johannigman, we continue to make significant strides in advancing medical care and improving patient outcomes. 


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