R Adams Cowley
R Adams Cowley (July 25, 1917 – October 27, 1991), "Father of Trauma Medicine", was an American surgeon considered a pioneer in emergency medicine and the treatment of shock trauma. He was the founder of nation's first trauma center at the University of Maryland, 1958, after the US Army awarded Dr. Cowley $100,000 to study shock in people (the first award of its kind in the United States). The trauma unit consisted of two beds (later four). Many people called the four bed unit the "death lab". Dr. Cowley was the creator of the "The Golden Hour" concept, the 60 minutes following injury when definitive care is crucial to a trauma patient's survival. He was a leader in the use of helicopters for medical evacuations of civilians, beginning in 1969, founded the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, He founded the nation's first statewide EMS system, called MIEMSS by Executive Order of Maryland's Governor Mandel, 1972, as well as the National Study Center for Trauma and EMS, enacted by Congress in 1986 and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. He is also known for being one of the first to perform open-heart surgery and invented both a surgical clamp that bears his name and a prototype pacemaker that was used by Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Dr R Adams Cowley, a Professor of Thoracic Surgery, University of Maryland, was inventor of the worlds first and longest running "Shock Trauma" Center. After years of research in the late 1950s it was officially opened at the University of Maryland Hospital in 1959. The center was renamed the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, University of Maryland Hospital. Dr. R Adams Cowley was the Inventor of the once controversial but now universally accepted concept of the "Golden Hour", 1957, meaning a severe trauma patient had 60 minutes or less from time of injury to receive specialized treatment at a Shock Trauma Unit to reduce mortality. The controversial aspect was that for countless years injured patients were taken by ambulance to nearest hospital to die. In order to accomplish this goal, Dr. Cowley delegated and shared responsibility for Trauma Medicine with hospitals throughout the State of Maryland (Johns Hopkins Hospital- Pediatric Trauma Center, Union Memorial- The Curtis Hand Center, Bayview Hospital the state burn center...) Dr Cowley invented the ""Maryland Institute of Emergency Medical Services" the first statewide coordinated EMS system of care in The United States. Dr. R Adams Cowley started the first injured "civilian" helicopter transport(1969)with assistance of the Maryland State Police Aviation Division. / . Dr. Cowley published over 400 professional articles, chapters, books and white papers. Dr. Cowley was a pioneer in raising awareness of trauma prevention . In 1986,at the request of Dr. R Adams Cowley and support of Maryland Senator Mathias President Reagan signed into law The National Center For The Study of Trauma and EMS whose First director and Founder was Dr. R Adams Cowley. This Center is located at the University of Maryland. The University of Utah, which honored Dr. Cowley as one of Utah's most famous legends, requested and received collection of Dr. R Adams Cowley's personal and professional papers.
- Professor of Thoracic & Cardiovascular Surgery, University Of Maryland, School of Medicine
- Clinical Professor of Medicine, Pennsylvania State University
- Founder/First Director Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems
- Director, Charles McC. Mathias, Jr., National Study Center for Trauma & Emergency Medicine
- National Highway Safety Advisory Committee (Presidential appointee)
- National Coalition for EMS (chairman)
- White House Conference on Emergency Medical Services
- Society of Thoracic Surgeons (founding member)
- American Trauma Society (founding member and past president)
- Atlantic EMS Council (founding member and past president)
- Maryland State Highway Safety Coordinating Committee
- Governors Commission of Fire Services
- National Research Council: Committees on Shock, Hyperbaric Oxygenation and blood components
- More than 400 medical journal articles
- Textbooks: Trauma Care: Surgical Management; Trauma Care: Medical Management; Shock Trauma/Critical Care Handbook; Terrorism, Mass Casualties, Crisis: A Lessons Learned Approach; Emergency Management at an Airport Catastrophe; Shock Trauma/Critical Care Manual; Initial Assessment and Management; Pathophysiology of Shock, Anoxia and Ischemia; and collected papers in Emergency Medical Services and Traumatology.
- Editorial boards: Disaster Medicine; Journal of World Association for Emergency & Disaster Medicine; American Journal of Emergency Medicine; Emergency Department News
- "Accidental Death and Disability: The Neglected Disease of Modern Society" (member of committee of National Research Council that authored landmark document)
- "The Need for a National Trauma Institute: Conquering Our Most Expensive Health Problem"
- "An Evaluation of the Utilization of Human Blood Resources in the United States"
Papers and memorabilia collected by the University of Utah
Layton Public Schools, Layton, Utah; Davis County High School, Kayesville, Utah; In 1940, Cowley graduated eighth in his class at the University of Utah. He attended medical school at the University of Maryland, graduating in 1944. Dr. Cowley completed a fellowship at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor MI. In the late 1940s, while serving in the U.S. Army, he did extensive surgical training in Europe.
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- "American Men of Medicine", 1961 (biographical sketches of notable physicians and surgeons who contributed services and scientific skill to the welfare of mankind)
- "National Research Council"
- Committee on Hyperbaric Oxygenation, 1962-1966
- Committee on Shock, 1962-1971
- Committee on Blood Components, 1970
- Consultant to Senator A. Cranston (Chairman Senate Sub-committee on Health) and Senator J. Glenn Beall on Federal EMS Legislation, 1972-1976
- "Chairman, Mid-Atlantic EMS Council, Inc.", 1973-1989
- Mayor's Professional Advisory Committee, 1973-1977
- Credentials Committee, American College of Surgeons, 1974-19890
- "Advisory Panel on National Health Insurance", "Subcommittee on Health, Committee on Ways and Means, U.S.House of Representatives", 1975
- Participant, "White House Conference on Emergency Medical Services", January 6, 1976
- Speaker, Subcommittee on Health on the Emergency Medical Services Systems Act Extension, January 23, 1976
- "Governors Commission on Fire Services", 1974-1975
- "Chairman, American College of Surgeons Postgraduate Course", "Thoracic Trauma and Pulmonary Insufficiency," Boston, Massachusetts.April, 1976
- "Sponsor, U.S.A." Bicentennial Emergency Medical Services and Traumatology Conference, May 9–12, 1976.
- Program Chairman, Traumatology Track, U.S.A. Bicentennial Traumatology Conference May 9–12, 1976
- "Project Director, Inner Harbor Disaster Exercise, U.S.A.", 1976
- "Mayors Citation", May 10, 1976
- "Official Citation, Maryland House of Delegates" (House Resolution 461)
- "Governors Citation", April 5, 1977
- Moderator, Thoracic Trauma Symposium, 63rd Clinical Congress, American College of Surgeons.1977
- Presiding Officer, Thoracic Surgery Symposium,63rd Annual American College of Surgeons Clinical Conference, Dallas, Texas, October 1977
- "Distinguished Marylander Award", Advertising Club of Maryland, May, 1977
- "Certificate of Distinguished Citizenship", State of Maryland,1977
- Speaker, House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Finance of the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, September 9, 1977
- "Certificate of Appreciation, Maryland State Firemens Association", 1977/1979
- "Program Director, Emergency Management at an Airport Catastrophe", May 12–13, 1978
- "Presidential Appointee", National Highway Safety Advisory Committee, 1978
- "Governor Appointee", Maryland State Highway Safety Coordinating Committee, 1978
- "William S. Stone Lectureship Award", American Trauma Society, 1978
- "Distinguished Alumni Award" University of Utah, 1979
- Editor, "Emergency Department News,".1980
- "Baltimore's Best Award", January 17, 1980
- "Citation, Maryland Chapter, American College of Emergency Physicians", March 17, 1980
- "Congressional Certificate of Merit, Congress of the United States of America", March 19, 1980
- "Special Award, Developing the Nation's Premier Emergency Medical Services System", Bell Helicopter Textron, March, 1990
- "Award for Public Service, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration", March, 1980
- "Citation, Outstanding Service", Safety Council of Maryland, June 18, 1980
- Honorary Member, University of Maryland Police Department at Baltimore, 1980
- Chairman, National Coalition for Emergency Medical Services,1980
- Disaster Planning Conference, American Hospital Association, 1981
- Emergency Management Advisory Council, State of Maryland, 1981
- "Honorary Diploma, La Cruz Roja Mexicana y la Association Mexicana de Medicina Critica y Terapia Intensiva", August, 1981
- Board of Directors, International Society of Emergency Medical Services, 1981-1982
- "Program Chairman, First International Society Assembly on Emergency Medical Services," June, 1982
- Associated Italian American Charities Award for Outstanding Service, November, 1982
- Pima County," Arizona Award of Appreciation", April, 1982
- "Robert F. Kennedy Lectureship Award", University Association of Emergency Medicine, 1982
- "President", American Trauma Society, 1982-1984
- Public Service Helicopter Technology Transfer (PSHTT) Advisory Group, "National Aeronautics and Space Administration", 1983-1989
- Appreciation Award for Services Rendered, Department of Justice," Federal Bureau of Investigation", December, 1983
- Editorial Board, "Disaster Medicine" Journal, 1983-1990
- Editorial Board, "The American Journal of Emergency Medicine" 1983-1990
- Certificate of Appreciation, National Committee for Employer Support of National Guard and Reserves, June, 1984
- "Andrew White Medal, Loyola University," March, 1984
- Award for Public Service,National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, May, 1984
- Member, Advisory Board, National Spinal Cord Injury Hotline, 1984-1988
- Editorial Board, "Trauma Quarterly," 1984-1990
- "Honor Award and Gold Key Recipient", University of Maryland, School of Medicine, May 10, 1986
- Civic Achievement Award, Engineering Society of Baltimore, April 23, 1986
- Editor, "Journal of the World Association for Emergency and Diaster Medicine," 1986-1989
- AAMC Award, Group on Public Affairs, October, 1986
- "Resolution, State Senate of Maryland, In Recognition of MIEMSS Performance in Amtrak-Conrail Train Accident," 1987
- "1987 Stanley W. Gustafson Leadership Award, Highway Users Federation", November 4, 1987
- Publication Design Award, "The System Saving Lives," Noble Steed Associates, Inc 1987
- Award for Increasing Public Awareness of Red Cross Response to Amtrak Disaster, "American Red Cross", January 4, 1987
- "Awarded Honorary Presidency, Pan American Trauma Society", 1988
- Honors Award, The Maryland Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 1988
- Cited as one of the "150 People Who Shape the Way We Live." Baltimore Sun, 1988
- "Marylander of the Year Award". The Maryland Colonial Society, 1988
- 1988 Powell Lecturer, University of Maryland Dental School, 1988
- Elected to the "Hall of Fame" and Honorary Membership, Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, 1989
- "Public Service Award, The American Trauma Association", 1989
- Editorial Board, "Emergency Medicine News," 1989-1991
- Resolution in Appreciation, The Fire Chiefs Council, Regional Planning Council, 1989
- Plaque in Recognition of Exemplary Performance. The Fire Chief's Committee of the Regional Planning Council, 1989
- "Certificate of Appreciation, American Red Cross", 1989
- "Man of the Year Award" The Arlene Rosenbloom Wyman Guild, 1989
- Clinical Professor of Medicine, College of Medicine, The Pennsylvania State University, Hershey, Pennsylvania 1980- 1991
- Professor of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore Md 1960 - 1991
Cowley was born in Layton, Utah on July 25, 1917. Cowley was the son of a pharmacist William Wallace Cowley,first college educated family member & founder of Kowley Drugs on Main Street in Layton Utah. Cowley's mother, Alta Louise Adams, was a self-taught painter and mother of 5 boys.Cowley was from the country, where he enjoyed riding horses and farming. Cowley quit Univ of Md Medical School because he was homesick for family and country life. Upon hearing the news, the Dean of the Medical School raced down to the bus station to find young Cowley and invited him to live in his "home" if he would stay.The rest is history.
Dr. Cowley was married to Roberta Cowley a Speech-Language Pathologist, from the Univ of Virginia. Dr. Cowley had a son, R Adams Cowley II born three week prior to his death,and a daughter, Kay Cowley Pace, a teacher, from a prior marriage. Cowley's son R Adams Cowley II, an Eagle Scout, graduated from Gilman School, Vanderbilt University. Cowley was an amateur oil painter, he donated one of his finest paintings "Winterscape" during the first Shock Trauma Gala. Spencer Adams, Dr. Cowley's uncle played professional baseball with the New York Yankees. Dr. Cowley was passionate about classical music, his favorite composer was Mozart.Cowley lived in an efficiency apartment covered with books(even in the stove). Cowley worked 16 hour days seven days a week to bring his vision of creating trauma medicine to fruition. One Christmas, University of Maryland carpenters presented Dr. Cowley with an 8 foot orange handmade bench so he would stop resting on the x ray tables. Cowley joked he missed seven sabbaticals. He refused to take vacations, for almost 50 yrs, so his staff could be home with their families on holidays. Dr. Cowleys personal& professional papers/awards/memorabilia were requested and donated to the University of Utah Marriott Library. (where he was named one of" Utah's Heros". He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Cowley died suddenly at home on October 27, 1991. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Cowleys grandfather, a Utah State Senator Rufus Adams yearned for years for a namesake grandson named Rufus. One of Senator Adams daughters, Cowleys mother, Alta Louise, half-heartedly agreed, however,at the birth of Dr. Cowley, his mother started to write Rufus, but stopped after writing R(no period) Adams Cowley. Dr. Cowleys official first name became simply "R", and he insisted that it be written without a period after it.
- Lambert, Bruce (November 1, 1991). "Dr. R. Adams Cowley, 74, Dies; Reshaped Emergency Medicine". The New York Times.
- "Arlington National Cemetery: R Adams Cowley".
- Sopp, Beverly (January 1, 1992). "[Title unknown]". Maryland EMS Newsletter 16 (3).
- Korben, Gerri (June 27, 1982). The Sun Magazine http://query.sunmagazine.com
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- Sloane, Herbert (June 1992). "R Adams Cowley, MD: 1917–1991" (PDF). The Annals of Thoracic Surgery 53 (6): 954. ISSN 0003-4975. Retrieved October 11, 2013.
- "University of Maryland Medical Center, R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center: History".
- Shock Trauma founder is dead: R Adams Cowley had single vision that changed care
- Dr. R Adams Cowley, shock-trauma pioneer, dies.
- Franklin, Jon; Doelp, Alan (1980). Shocktrauma. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-71741-5
- Media related to R Adams Cowley at Wikimedia Commons