Mercy Health Aims to Secure Permanent State Funding for “Stop the Bleed” Programming

Mercy Health, as a member of the Michigan Trauma Coalition (MTC), is dedicated to the reduction of traumatic injuries while developing better care and treatment of trauma patients in Michigan. Among the many programs supported by the Michigan Trauma Coalition is the “Stop the Bleed” movement which advocates for the education, engagement and empowerment of bystanders to help in bleeding emergency situations before professional help arrives. Stop the Bleed has proven to be an important program that could save numerous lives in critical situations.

State trauma systems are permanently funded in 48 states, excluding Michigan and Vermont, but Heather Ruffin, trauma program manager for Mercy Health Muskegon is hoping to change that. “Michigan is in danger of losing state trauma system funding in October, unless a bill is passed to make funding permanent. A bill has finally been introduced, so it is my job, in tandem with the MTC’s lobbyist, to present impactful information in front of Michigan legislators,” said Ruffin. She has been instrumental in the advocacy for this movement; serving on the Michigan Trauma Coalition board and also as chair of the marketing and legislative committee.  “On April 26, we will hold a Stop the Bleed rally on the steps of the capital. We plan on catching 96 percent of the senate and house representatives. The committee has pulled together the Michigan Committee on Trauma (MCOT) and the Michigan Chapter of the American College of Surgeons for joint name recognition and power to raise the level of awareness.”

With the goal of securing permanent government funding for the state of Michigan, as well as establishing April 26 as “Michigan Stop the Bleed Day,” all colleagues with an interest in trauma are invited to attend a Legislative Luncheon and Demonstration this upcoming Thursday, April 26 from 11a.m. – 1 p.m. in Lansing on the first floor of the Michigan Capitol Building’s North Wing.

“Legislators will register, receive a nice meal and tee shirt, go over talking points and experience a condensed Stop the Bleed training,” Ruffin added. Her message to colleagues: “Mercy Health and the Michigan Trauma Coalition need your support in recognizing the gravity of life-threatening bleeding and the ability to intervene effectively and save lives. We are encouraging all with an interest in trauma to help spread the word.”

If you would like more information on how to get involved, please contact Heather Ruffin,


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