Craig Coopersmith Named Director of the Emory Critical Care Center

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Monday, May 11th, 2020

Craig Coopersmith, MD, MCCM, has been named director of the Emory Critical Care Center (ECCC) following his service as interim director of the ECCC since 2018. Coopersmith is also professor of surgery and vice chair of research in the Department of Surgery, program director of the Emory Surgical Critical Care Fellowship and director of the Surgical/Transplant Intensive Care Unit at Emory University Hospital. 

“Craig Coopersmith is an accomplished and innovative leader in critical care medicine, with a dedication to provide expert and compassionate care to our patients who need critical care services at Emory Healthcare,” says Jonathan S. Lewin, MD, president, CEO and chairman of the board of Emory Healthcare. “The Emory Critical Care Center has cared for many patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Craig’s leadership has been instrumental during this crisis, and we will look to his guidance in this new role as we continue to battle COVID-19 and moving forward.”

The ECCC is a national leader in designing, testing and implementing innovations in critical care. The center was created in 2009 to ensure the highest quality critical care for patients in intensive care units throughout the Emory Healthcare system, and to integrate patient- and family-centered care with research, education and training across the health sciences.

The ECCC, staffed by practitioners from multiple disciplines, currently provides services at five Emory Healthcare locations: Emory University Hospital, Emory University Hospital Midtown, Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital, Emory Johns Creek Hospital and Emory Decatur Hospital.

As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, Coopersmith’s cardinal position on the clinical and research frontlines has placed him in the national gallery of experts consistently cited for their work to understand the mechanics of the virus and devise more successful treatment methods. Coopersmith is one of 29 experts from across the country who led efforts to establish the National Institutes of Health’s recently released Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Treatment Guidelines. 

Coopersmith is also considered one of the top investigators of sepsis and shock in the country, and was a member of an international task force of experts that redefined the terms "sepsis" and "septic shock" in 2016. The resulting publication in the Journal of the American Medical Association was named one of its Top Articles of the Decade. His current research activity includes an NIH T32 training grant and three NIH R01 grants, two of which are collaborative studies with accomplished Emory transplant immunologist Mandy Ford, PhD, that are investigating aspects of the immunological host response in sepsis.

Coopersmith served as president of the Society of Critical Care Medicine from 2015 to 2016, and is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, which requires its members to have an outstanding record of scholarly achievement in biomedical research.

In 2020, he was inducted as a Master of Critical Care Medicine (MCCM) of the American College of Critical Care Medicine, considered the highest designation one can have in critical care.