The Ohio Committee on Trauma was established in the early 1970s. The first chairman was Dr. Bob Heide, an orthopedist from Cincinnati. Beginning around 1976, the Committee was lead by Dr. Bob Waltz, a Cleveland general surgeon and in 1981 by Dr. Robert Zollinger of Cleveland. Dr. Richard Fratianne became the chairman in 1983 and held meetings in conjunction with the Ohio Chapter of the American College of Surgeons. Initial meetings focused on advancing trauma education through the development of Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) courses throughout the state.
In 1984, the Ohio COT hosted a meeting featuring guest speakers from the Pennsylvania trauma system. Following their presentation, the group developed a trauma systems plan that represented the first efforts to establish a statewide trauma system.
In 1996, the Ohio COT became actively involved in efforts to pass HB 138, trauma systems legislation sponsored by Rep. William Schuck, R-Columbus. The group actively lobbied for HB 138. The bill passed in May, 2000.