Cooper University Health Care Announces Expansion of Extensive Military Training Programs with Partnership to Provide Specialized Medical Training to U.S. Military Personnel as Part of SMART Program

Military leaders, hospital executives attend ceremony honoring first graduates

Cooper University Health Care is one of the leading academic health systems providing medical training to military personnel. Recently, Cooper became the third location in the nation to provide specialized medical training to active duty and reserve personnel from all branches U.S. military as part of Operation SMART (Strategic Medical Asset Readiness Training).

Operation SMART was developed by the U.S. Army Medical Command as part of an effort to establish a national network of civilian health care facilities to train and build medical skill sustainment among military personnel.

“Cooper is proud to be the leading academic health system in the nation to partner with the U.S. Armed Forces to provide specialized medical training to military professionals, today is another key milestone in the expansion of this partnership,” said Kevin O’Dowd, JD, co-president and CEO of Cooper University Health Care.

“As a high-volume, Level I Trauma Center and academic health system, Cooper is uniquely qualified to provide the hands-on training members of military medical teams need to gain the experience and skills to save lives on battlefields around the world,” added Anthony J. Mazzarelli, MD, JD, MBE, Co-president and CEO of Cooper.

Since December 2, the first class of nine military personnel representing the U.S. Army and Air Force, came to Cooper from across the nation to work and learn alongside medical professionals in a hospital setting.  Program participants experienced rotations in supply chain and logistical patient care management, emergency medicine, trauma and trauma intensive care, radiology, and laboratory technology. Cooper and Gloucester County Emergency Medical Services partnered to provide medics with unique point of care as first responders in both rural and suburban settings.

“Over the past two years the senior U.S. Army Medical leadership has leaned far forward in developing partnerships with civilian trauma centers for both individual and team training for active, reserve, and guard providers,” said Colonel Jason M. Seery, Clinical Advisor, Army Medical Skills Sustainment Program.  “These collaborations support a variety of medical skill sets along the continuum of care in deployed settings ranging from various essential medical technician level, to emergency and critical care nursing, to critical physicians and surgeons.  The initial review of their clinical experience and skills readiness is impressing.  Other findings are that this could have a positive impact on recruiting and retention of military providers.  We anticipate continued growth and evolution of our military-civilian partnerships to augment our current medical treatment facilities to ensure we have a truly Ready-Medical-Force”

“The County of Gloucester is excited to partner with the U.S. military to provide suburban and rural EMS experience for the military medical responders by providing ride-along opportunities with crews of our award winning GCEMS,” said Robert Damminger, Freeholder Director, Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholders. “The program is a win/win situation as the military providers benefit from the experience and knowledge of our GCEMS EMTs and our EMTs likewise benefit from the knowledge and experience of the military responders.  We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with our military partners and Cooper.”

Due to its expertise in trauma, surgery, and critical care, Cooper provides a wide range of military, diplomatic, and field affairs training programs. In January 2019, Cooper was the first health system in the nation to enter into an agreement with the U. S. Army to provide advanced surgical trauma training to the elite Forward Resuscitation Surgical Team (FRST) through the Army Medical Department Military-Civilian Trauma Team Training (AMCT3) Program. Cooper is also the only hospital in the United States that has trained elite medical providers from every military branch, multiple local, state, and federal government agencies, and international partners, and is the only hospital to offer training through both the Operation SMART and AMCT3 programs.


Wendy A. Marano
Public Relations Manager
Cooper University Health Care
Communications and Marketing Department
856.382.6463 – office
856.904.1688 – mobile

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