Jeffrey B. Cooper, Ph.D. is the founder and Executive Director of the Center for Medical Simulation, which is dedicated to the use of simulation in healthcare as a means to improve the process of education and training and to avoid risk to patients. He is also Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School. He received his BS in Chemical Engineering and MS in Biomedical Engineering from Drexel University in 1968 and 1970 respectively and completed a PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Missouri in 1972. Starting soon thereafter with the Bioengineering Unit in the Department of Anesthesia at Massachusetts General Hospital, he led the team that conducted seminal studies of critical incidents and human error in anesthesia. During the same time, he was leading a team that developed one of the first microprocessor-based medical technologies, the Boston Anesthesia System, aimed at integrating functions for the ultimate purpose of reducing human and system errors. Both of these efforts have catalyzed changes in anesthesia practice in the ensuing years. In April, 2009, Dr. Cooper retired as Director of Biomedical Engineering for the Partners Healthcare System, Inc., a technology development and service department that he organized and led for 15 years.
Dr. Cooper was a lead member of the group that created the first safety-related standards for anesthesia, equivalent versions of which have since been adopted in the US and throughout the world. He is a co-founder of the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF), serving continuously on its Executive Committee since 1985 and for 13 years as Chairman of it Committee on Scientific Evaluation. He is now an APSF Executive Vice President. He serves on the Board of Governors of the National Patient Safety Foundation and founded its Research Program, which he chaired for seven years.
Dr. Cooper has been awarded several honors for his work in patient safety, including the 2003 John M. Eisenberg Award for Lifetime Achievement in Patient Safety from the National Quality Forum and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and the 2004 Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Academy of Clinical Engineering. The Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care of the MGH recently established the Jeffrey B. Cooper Patient Safety award in his honor.