Miami surgeon is new chair of surgery at UT Health Science Center


San Antonio (Aug. 17, 2004) – Stephen M. Cohn, M.D., F.A.C.S., an internationally recognized surgeon who has conducted innovative research to improve resuscitation of trauma victims and combat casualties, is the new chairman of the department of surgery at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Dr. Cohn comes to the Health Science Center from the University of Miami School of Medicine in Miami, Fla., and has been selected to hold the Witten B. Russ Chair in Surgery at the Health Science Center.

A graduate of Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Cohn was recruited after an extensive nationwide search. In Miami he served as professor and chief, divisions of trauma and surgical critical care, trauma fellowship program director, co-director of the U.S. Army Trauma Training Center and medical director of the Ryder Trauma Center, and held an endowed professorship. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

He assumed his new duties on Aug. 15. “I have a simple role – to facilitate the success of the department of surgery and each of its divisions (including emergency medicine, general surgery, plastic surgery, surgical oncology, thoracic surgery, trauma surgery and vascular surgery) so that all are able to achieve or maintain status among the top 10 centers in the U.S. in their fields,” Dr. Cohn said. “We are focusing upon clinical care, educational quality and research productivity. We hope to meet this goal within the next five years.”

“Dr. Cohn has more than 240 publications, extensive funded research, is a member of many professional organizations and is a reviewer for numerous journals, among many other activities,” said Steven A. Wartman, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president for academic and health affairs at the Health Science Center and dean, School of Medicine.

Dr. Cohn complemented the enthusiasm and quality of leaders he has met from the Health Science Center School of Medicine, University Health System and South Texas Veterans Health Care System. “I’m fired up to continue the building process that Dr. (J. Bradley) Aust (former surgery chair) and others have done before me,” he said. “Dean Wartman and President Francisco G. Cigarroa have been very generous in providing me the resources I believe are necessary to help elevate faculty to succeed and to recruit other fine individuals in the country.”

Dr. Cohn is an outstanding teacher who recently received the Lifetime Achievement in Education Award from the University of Miami School of Medicine. He has trained more than 80 fellows in critical care and trauma. He has been honored at every institution with which he has been affiliated, including the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Yale University and the University of Miami. “I think awards for teaching are the most satisfying,” he said.

Trauma is occurring in “epidemic” proportions, he said, partly because society pays little attention to injury prevention. “Trauma is a disease of the young,” Dr. Cohn said. “When a younger person suffers a traumatic injury, it affects the most productive time of life.”

Dr. Cohn and his wife, Kelly, have a son and daughter. His wife is a nursing director and a researcher.

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