Support the Nomination of R Adams Cowley for the Presidential Medal of Freedom

For immediate release: August 19, 2013


Media Relations

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Photo of Doctor R. Adams CowleyThe University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) is pleased to supplement efforts in support of the nomination of R Adams Cowley, M.D., for a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom. As a pioneer in modern trauma medicine, Dr. Cowley is the namesake of the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center here at UMMC.

Dr. Cowley’s vision, which began with two beds, is now one of the most sophisticated trauma hospitals in the country and potentially the world, which has influenced the practice of trauma medicine globally. Outside of the United States, trauma units for patient resuscitation are modeled as exact replicas of the Trauma Resuscitation Unit in Baltimore, and based on the care concept of the “Golden Hour” recognized today as the gold standard in saving the lives of the critically injured.

Dr. Cowley began his career as an open heart surgeon. After World War II, he spent a considerable amount of time in Europe, where he recognized that injury was a time- related disease. After returning home, he developed a research lab to focus on shock, where he concluded clock starting ticking after impact, not upon arrival at the hospital. He was instrumental in the establishment of Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS). This network of transportation, personnel and regional trauma centers thrives today as “Maryland’s Safety Net,” which citizens of the city, state and region can depend on in their time of critical medical need.

Dr. Cowley became the international ambassador for trauma care and trained surgeons from all over the world. He developed highly sophisticated triage protocols used in the field by EMS providers and by the military in warzones to provide the best care and give the critically injured the best chance at survival. Dr. Cowley’s achievements make him highly deserving of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

How you can Help: A petition in support of his nomination is available on the Trauma Foundation Website. Your support is appreciated to help honor the legacy of this visionary man in the field of trauma medicine.