Chief of the Army Medical Corps Visits ASSET Training Program at Cooper University Health Care

Brig. Gen. Mary Krueger (center) with leadership, staff, and participants of Cooper’s Division of Military, Diplomatic, and Field Surgical Affairs.

On March 16, Brigadier General Mary V. Krueger, chief of the U.S. Army Medical Corps, Medical Readiness Command East, visited Cooper University Health Care to meet with leadership from Cooper’s Division of Military, Diplomatic, and Field Surgical Affairs. Cooper operates the busiest trauma center in the Philadelphia-South Jersey region, and its trauma team’s military training programs are the most extensive in the nation.

“We were proud to welcome Brig. Gen. Krueger to Cooper to meet with our team and review the efforts and results of our longstanding civilian-military partnership,” said Cooper trauma surgeon John Chovanes, DO, FACS, who also serves as a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves Medical Corps and is the leader of Cooper’s Division of Military, Diplomatic, and Field Surgical Affairs. “Both the Army and Cooper have benefited from this ongoing relationship by working together, sharing knowledge, and advancing skills.”

Following a review of Cooper’s programs, Brig. Gen. Krueger observed Cooper’s third Advanced Surgical Skills for Exposure in Trauma (ASSET) course. The target audiences for ASSET courses are surgeons, surgical fellows, and surgical residents. In addition to the Cooper surgical community, the ASSET courses provided trauma skills training to medical students, U.S. Army OR techs, LPNs, EMTs, and Army health care providers assigned to Cooper.  Nearly 40 participants spent an intensive two days of learning about advanced surgical trauma care in Cooper Medical School of Rowan University’s Anatomy Laboratory with instruction from Cooper’s highly skilled trauma team.

Dr. Kirby Gross explains the ASSET course training to Brig. Gen Krueger.

The American College of Surgeons developed the program that is offered at trauma centers and medical schools around the nation.  The program was brought to Cooper to expand the training curriculums provided by Cooper’s Military, Diplomatic, and Field Surgical Affairs division for military trainees embedded at Cooper as well as Cooper’s own medical residents, fellows, and students.

“We greatly appreciate the efforts of Cooper University Health Care. I am excited and honored to be here at Cooper,” said Brig. Gen. Krueger during her visit. “I’m always interested in learning how we can best support our soldiers, and how organizations like Cooper are committed to caring for those who are putting their lives on the line. We thank everyone at Cooper for bringing their talents, dedication, excitement, and energy to serve the U.S. military.”

Brig. Gen. Mary Krueger (right) observes Dr. John Chovanes during the ASSET training course.

Cooper serves as the only Level I Trauma Center for all of southern New Jersey and is one of the busiest trauma centers in the region. Due to its high-volume trauma center and expertise in surgery and critical care, Cooper is 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.

In 2019, Cooper became the third location in the nation to provide specialized medical training to active duty and reserve personnel from all branches of the U.S. military as part of the SMART (Strategic Medical Asset Readiness Training) initiative. 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 sustain medical skills of the enlisted medical workforce.

Earlier in 2019, Cooper became 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 Detachment (FRSD) through the Army Medical Department Military-Civilian Trauma Team Training (AMCT3) program. Cooper also collaborates with the U.S. Navy to provide clinical rotations to Navy senior anesthesiology medical residents.

About Cooper University Health Care

Cooper University Health Care is a leading academic health system with more 8,900 employees, including 1,600 nurses and more than 850 employed physicians. Cooper University Hospital is the only Level 1 Trauma Center in South Jersey and the busiest in the region.  Annually, nearly two million patients are served at Cooper’s 663-bed flagship hospital, outpatient surgery center, three urgent care centers, and more than 105 ambulatory offices throughout the community. Cooper has been named as one of America’s Best Employers by Forbes for two consecutive years and was recognized as one of the top hospitals in New Jersey and as a top-performing hospital nationally in numerous specialty services by U.S. News & World Report’s 2022-2023 Best Hospitals annual survey.

The Cooper Health Sciences campus is home to Cooper University Hospital, MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper, and Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. Visit to learn more.




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