News & Stories


Red Hot Gala Q&A: Steven E. Ross, MD, FACS, FCCM


Steven E. Ross, MD, FACS, FCCM is the Vice Chairman of the Department of Surgery, the Division Head of Trauma, the Director of Trauma Surgical Intensive Care Unit, the Director of Level 1 Trauma Center and a Professor of Surgery.

Q: Why did you become a Trauma surgeon? 

A: I grew up wanting to be a basic science biology researcher, and that was my plan as I began medical school. During my junior year rotation at Misericordia Hospital, caring for the injured fascinated me. To me, it was like MASH, which is the only television medical program I have ever watched on a regular basis. I pursued residency training in Surgery, because of my intense interest in Trauma.

Q: What is the most rewarding part of working as a Trauma surgeon?

A:  Caring for the severely injured and seeing them recover and return to their lives.

Q: What makes Cooper Trauma Center stand out from the other trauma centers in the region?

A: Cooper Trauma Center is special because of the organization at the center, particularly the alliance between trauma surgeons and nurses in the resuscitation and critical care management of our patients. The dedication of all the physicians, nurses, and techs involved in the care of the injured is remarkable, and is the primary reason for our success.

Q: What do you do to make yourself a better surgeon each day?

A: I try to learn something new each day. A large part of the trauma surgeon’s job has nothing to do with operating. The critical care management of the injured, both as initial resuscitation and evaluation, and in the Intensive Care Unit is just as important to the survival and recovery of our patients as our operative care. Learning new techniques in operative intervention as well as maintaining current knowledge in resuscitation and ICU care is critical to caring for my patients.

Q: What can surgeons like you do to ensure the continued success of the Trauma Center?

A: We must all strive, individually and as a team, to provide the best care possible on a day to day basis.

Q: What does the future of the Cooper Trauma Center look like in your opinion? Do you see continued growth and development? What type of advancements would you like to see? How do we make those advancements happen?

A: The Cooper Trauma Center has a national reputation for clinical care and clinical research. We have a number of opportunities for growth and development. The development of regional alliances with pre-hospital care providers and other institutions provides opportunities for local trauma system development. The 2013 law authorizing a NJ state trauma system will allow us to take a leadership role in that development. As all trauma centers, with the aging population, we see more and more elderly people suffering injury requiring our specialty care. The initiation of a Level II pediatric trauma center will elevate our ability to care for injured children. Our research program, particularly the basic science work being done in the large animal lab, is especially important..

Q: How important is the 2015 Red Hot Gala to the future of the Cooper Trauma Center?

A: The Red Hot Gala will provide funding to support projects which will enhance our ability to provide high level care in a patient-focused environment. It will also help to fund research, which will lead to new and innovative treatment of victims of injury.