Cooper University Health Care Trauma Surgeon John Chovanes, DO, received the Outstanding EMS Physician Award at the 2014 New Jersey Statewide Conference on EMS 2014 held November 12-14 in Atlantic City.
As part of the conference, the New Jersey Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Council, in collaboration with the New Jersey Department of Health and the Office of Emergency Medical Service, sponsors the annual New Jersey EMS Awards Program to recognize and honor the state’s emergency medical services professionals and citizens for their outstanding service to New Jersey residents and visitors.
Dr. Chovanes has a distinguished and unique career in EMS as an emergency medical technician, a paramedic, a registered nurse, a surgeon and as a military officer.
He began his career as an emergency medical technician and paramedic with Narberth, PA, Volunteer Medical Services Corps, where he has achieved Life Membership status. He holds an associate degree in nursing from the University of the State of New York/Excelsior College, Albany, NY, and a bachelor of science degree in health sciences from West Chester University, West Chester, PA. For four years, Dr. Chovanes worked as an emergency department registered nurse at Hahnemann University Hospital, Philadelphia. During this period, he also worked as a flight paramedic and was part of the original flight crew of the first medical evacuation helicopter based in Philadelphia.
Following that, he obtained his medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic medicine. He completed his residency in general surgery; and completed a double fellowship in trauma surgery and surgical critical care with the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
In 2001, Dr. Chovanes enlisted in the United States Army Reserve, serving as a Major in the Medical Corps. He has completed three tours of duty at Combat Support Hospitals in Tikrit, Iraq, and Khost, Afghanistan. During his first deployment to Iraq, he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for the removal of an unexploded ordinance from a U.S. soldier.
Dr. Chovanes was also among the first responders at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
Dr. Chovanes received the Army Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service and the Soldiers’ Medal, awarded from the United States Army for Heroism for World Trade Center Rescue. For those efforts, he was also the recipient of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey’s A.T. Still Award, the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Alumni Award and the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Citation for Bravery.
In addition to receiving the Outstanding EMS Physician Award, Dr. Chovanes was also nominated for the 2014 Outstanding EMS Educator Award.