Craig Coopersmith named a finalist for 2021 Health Care Heroes award

June 2021

Craig Coopersmith

Craig Coopersmith, MD, was a finalist in the Physician/Physician Practice Group Category of the Atlanta Business Chronicle's 2021 Health Care Heroes awards for his work in caring for critically ill patients with COVID-19 and sharing critical care guidance to educate health care providers across the U.S. and globally. In his position as director of the Emory Critical Care Center, Dr. Coopersmith and his team cared for several thousand COVID-19 patients during the pandemic with the highest degree of expertise, compassion, and humanity.

Early in the pandemic, groups around the world were reporting a death rate of 50 to 97 percent for ICU patients on mechanical ventilation with COVID-19. However, the Emory Critical Care Center saw different outcomes, reporting a mortality rate of 35.7 percent for patients who required mechanical ventilation and an overall mortality rate of 30.9 percent in Critical Care Medicine.

While every death related to COVID-19 is tragic, the researchers knew it was important to publish these less-alarming outcomes among COVID-19 patients requiring ICU admission and mechanical ventilation. The paper was the most viewed research paper of the year in the journal and is believed to have helped change the way the world thought about COVID-19 outcomes.

Throughout the pandemic, Dr. Coopersmith and the Critical Care Center developed multiple protocols for managing a disease no one had ever seen before, which were shared on the Association of American Medical Colleges' website to educate others. He and Emory physicians Greg Martin, MD, MSc, and Jeffrey Lennox, MD, were among 29 U.S. experts who were tapped to help shape federal COVID-19 treatment guidelines released by the NIH.