Cox Daniel 400x300University of Alabama at Birmingham Division of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery Associate Professor and Trauma Medical Director Daniel Cox, M.D., has been awarded the Brewer-Heslin Endowed Award for Professionalism in Medicine.

 The Brewer-Heslin Award recognizes a faculty member or members within the UAB Heersink School of Medicine for “truly outstanding patient care.”

Cox was awarded $3,000 for professional development and was recognized at the UAB Heersink School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony on Sunday, August 14.

Division Director Jeffrey Kerby, M.D., Ph.D., FACS, says Cox is a “truly invaluable” faculty member and points to Cox’s numerous wins for UAB’s trauma service as to why he is deserving of this recognition.

As Trauma Medical Director, Cox successfully led UAB Hospital this year through the American College of Surgeons Level I re-verification process, maintaining UAB’s status as the only ACS-verified Level I Trauma Center in the state of Alabama. In 2021, trauma evaluations (6,700) and trauma admissions (4,500) were both up 40% from the last two years, but UAB increased their survival rate for patients – up from 95% to 96%. Based on national benchmarking, the trauma service at UAB is one of the top five centers in terms of volume and patient outcomes.

UAB is now consistently in the top quarter for a number of metrics related to trauma patient outcomes. Cox has led critical clinical practice transformation processes on the trauma service and trauma burn ICU service to improve patient outcomes and decrease patient length of stay. Because of this increase in efficiency, UAB’s diversion rates have decreased to 0% for the last 12 month period, meaning the community is assured available access to trauma services when they are needed – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

“With Daniel’s leadership, UAB was able to accomplish these metrics, while overseeing a dramatic increase in our trauma evaluations and trauma admissions,” Kerby said. “This is evidence of his unwavering dedication, skill, and expertise in his field as well as his deeply compassionate patient care.”

Cox also led the UAB Department of Surgery through the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizing coverage models and critical services to ensure the needs of patients were being met. He works collaboratively with multiple subspecialty services in both Surgery and Medicine to coordinate optimal care protocols for trauma patients, and is clinically engaged as one of UAB’s busiest trauma surgeons.

A decorated Air Force veteran and member of the Air Force Reserves, Cox also received recognition for his military leadership this year with a promotion to Colonel.

About the award

Established in 2015 by Alabama Governor Albert P. Brewer, the Brewer-Heslin Award recognizes physicians at UAB who are committed to providing highly skilled and deeply compassionate medical care to their patients. Brewer made the gift for the endowment in appreciation for his surgeon, Martin Heslin, M.D., former Department of Surgery Vice Chair and faculty member in the Division of Surgical Oncology.

Cox says he trained as a general surgery resident under Heslin and considers him a mentor and friend.

“To receive an award associated with him is a tremendous honor,” Cox said.