Secondary Logo

Journal Logo


In the Arena

Mattocks, Sarah L. MSN, RN, TCRN, NE-BC

Author Information
doi: 10.1097/JTN.0000000000000500
  • Free

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat (Roosevelt & Thomsen, 2003).

I begin this president's message, my final message during my tenure as your president, finding it hard to believe that a year has passed since our annual meeting in Lexington. The past year has taken the Society of Trauma Nurses (STN) to many new levels, and places, and continued solidification of our place as the premier organization for trauma nurses. Each staff member, board member, committee chair, and volunteer throughout the organization has been in the arena every day doing the work needed to move our organization forward. I would like to highlight a few initiatives that I have not written about previously that are key to the amazing year that the STN has had.


This year, the STN collaborated with the Pediatric Trauma Society to develop a curriculum and course that will fill an educational gap that has long been known. Work began in October of 2019 when Carolyn Blaney, Kimberly Marcus, Madeline Gehrig, Maria Bautista-Durand, Michele Dunstan, Tara Pepple, Todd Nickoles, Erin Zazzera, Linda Roney, Margot Daugherty, Maria McMahon, Sean Elwell, and Terri Elsbernd met in Chicago to spend 2 days creating and planning what we now know as Pediatric Trauma Across the Care Continuum. Tireless work has continued since the meeting in Chicago with the unending support of Stephanie Czhuajewski and Brian Doty from STN headquarters. Later this year the course will officially launch and fill the educational void. The tremendous amount of work and awe-inspiring collaboration of this group has been a highlight of my tenure.


The Trauma Outcomes & Performance Improvement Course (TOPIC) committee has been tremendously busy this year! This group, always wanting to raise the bar, identified needed enhancements and updates to the TOPIC course content. Kathleen Martin, Heidi Hotz, Jorie Klein, Amber Kyle, Tracy Cotner-Pouncy, Joanne Burrington, Amy Krichten, Robbie Dumond, and Brian Doty have spent many, many hours working on the updates, and creating a more learner-friendly and interactive course. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to attend the TOPIC course in Atlanta and learn the new content. I am already incorporating what I have learned into my institution's trauma performance improvement program. You do not want to miss out on what this revised course offers! You can find upcoming courses at:


Under the guidance of STN Board member Jami Blackwell, the STN Research Committee was officially established this year. This committee, led by committee chair Jacob Higgins, has done amazing work in a very short amount of time. First, a subcommittee was formed to review the Trauma Program Manager Role Delineation Study that was competed in 2018. Summary briefs of the study findings were prepared and distributed to the STN membership. Next, an additional subcommittee was formed to look at the STN grant proposal process. This subcommittee has streamlined and updated the proposal process to make it easier for members when submitting, and for volunteers when reviewing and critiquing proposals. I was excited, but not surprised, by the positive feedback that we have received from those that submitted research proposals this year. I cannot wait to see what this dynamic group does in the future!

In closing, I want to thank you, the members of the STN, for electing me and allowing me the honor to serve as your President. The STN has been my lifeline for many years. It has been my distinct honor to give back to the organization that “raised” me. I would like to thank STN professional staff and the countless volunteers that work tirelessly for this organization. The progress that was made this year is a direct result of the unwavering work of these individuals. I am confident that this will continue under the guidance of the committed group of individuals that now make up the STN Board. I also want to thank my organization, UPMC Hamot. The support of my team has been nothing short of amazing. I would not have been able to serve in this role without the team that surrounds me at UPMC Hamot. Lastly, I cannot forget my family. There are no words adequate to express my gratitude for the love and support that you continue to provide. Without the love and backing of my husband, Alex, I would not have been able to travel and do as much work on behalf of the STN as I did in the last year. I would like to especially thank our children, Jackson, Jillian, and Jace. You have shared Mommy with the world this year to “help hurt people” and never complained. I hope that I have made you proud.

Thank you again for the privilege of serving as STN President. It has been a true honor to be in the arena on behalf of the STN.


Roosevelt T., Thomsen B. (2003). The man in the arena: The selected writings of Theodore Roosevelt; a reader. New York: Forge.
© 2020 Society of Trauma Nurses