Cooper Medical School of Rowan University professor Dr. John Chovanes wins prestigious medical award

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Dr. John Chovanes has received a prestigious award by the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST), for his work as a trauma surgeon. - Photo via Rowan University

One of the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University’s (CMSRU) faculty, Dr. John Chovanes, was awarded with the prestigious John P. Pryor, MD Distinguished Service Award in Military Casualty Care, on Jan. 23. 

Chovanes was given this award by the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST) during the Annual Scientific Assembly in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Chovanes continues to be a recognized doctor, especially after his roles in Cooper University Health Care as a Chief Military surgeon and trauma surgeon. 

Along with being a surgeon, he is also a part of the teaching faculty at CMSRU as an associate professor of clinical surgery trauma and surgical critical care. Dr. Chovanes has an extensive amount of education and training in surgery, with his completion of medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and his fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

The doctor has also received many awards and honors for his work, like the 2014 Outstanding EMS Physician Award, and the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Citation of Bravery. He specifically won the award at the 37th EAST Assembly because of what he has done for the military as a trauma surgeon. 

Since joining the United States Army Reserve Medical Corps in 2001, he has served as  Deputy Commander of Clinical Service and is a Colonel in the reserves. One of his notable heroic accomplishments was during the Sept. 11 attacks, where he aided a New Jersey police officer and a Port Authority of New York. He received the U.S. Army Soldier’s Medal for Heroism for this act.  

Amit Joshi, the Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education and a Professor of Surgery shared his sentiments on the doctor’s award, but also how this is a win for CMSRU.

“Dr. Chovanes is a really well-respected member of our department, he is very interested in teaching and is a great colleague,” said Joshi. “He has started all sorts of programs that have helped to bring military health care workers into Cooper.”

Joshi also believes that because Dr. Chovanes has put in a lot of effort to bring in these workers, it has sharpened their surgical skills. It is useful for the school as well because they are very committed to supporting the military, and that includes military healthcare workers as well.

The award that he received in January was in honor of Major John Pryor, a surgeon in the US Army Reserve Medical Corps who was killed by enemy fire. EAST gives this award out to EAST members who have been in the military casualty care field and who have shown dedication to saving the lives of those who were injured in the army during conflict. 

Dr. Scott Armen, the Chair of the EAST Military Committee states that the organization hopes to build careers in trauma, and also advance science. 

“We have a lot of members who have been deployed multiple times and continue to do so to care for our service members around the globe,” said Armen. “It comes at great cost and personal sacrifice, and dedication..” 

EAST’s mission is to provide the public with information about the advancement of care and rehabilitation of an injured patient. The organization currently has more than 3,600 members who meet annually to discuss research and discoveries in the field. 

Dr. Chovanes has shown passion and dedication in the medical field, to ensure the safety of others. He continues to teach at CMSRU to spread his knowledge to the future generation, and so that they can also save lives.

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