Newswise — SAN FRANCISCO – The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) today presented Jerry A. Cohen, M.D., with its 2017 Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his long and highly distinguished career as a physician anesthesiologist, administrator and educator. The award is the highest honor ASA bestows and is presented annually to a member who has transformed the specialty of anesthesiology.  

Dr. Cohen is emeritus associate professor of anesthesiology at the University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida.

A past president of the ASA, Dr. Cohen served in 2012 during a time of great transition within the Society and specialty. Early in his presidency, he formed ASA’s Committee on Future Models of Anesthesia Practice to address the changes in payment systems taking place at that time. Additionally, Dr. Cohen served five terms as chair of ASA’s Section on Professional Standards, and also served as chair of ASA’s Division of Administrative Affairs. He has been instrumental in the evolution of the Perioperative Surgical Home, a patient-centered, team-based model of care created by leaders within the ASA.

Dedicated to service, Dr. Cohen’s stewardship has extended beyond his involvement with the ASA. He served as president of the Florida Society of Anesthesiologists (FSA) in 1996 and received the FSA’s Distinguished Service Award in 2008. He was ASA’s representative to The Joint Commission (TJC) for six years and was elected vice-chair of the Joint Commission Hospital Accreditation Program Technical Advisory Committee. Passionate about public policy and regulation relating to quality in medical practice, he served as an expert in quality management and regulation for the State of Florida Attorney General’s Office.

An astute author, Dr. Cohen has written extensively on quality improvement and authored numerous book chapters on outcomes, safety, quality, risk management and accreditation. He was co-editor of the ASA Manual of Anesthesia Department Organization and Management. Dr. Cohen has given numerous lectures on quality management and has been a frequent panelist at ASA meetings, including ASA’s first Workshop on Quality Assurance.

“I would like to thank Dr. Cohen for his leadership of ASA’s organizational evolution,” said ASA President James D. Grant, M.D., M.B.A., FASA. “Our Society would not be what it is today without his implementation of a transformative management structure at ASA. Additionally, his activity related to quality, outcome and regulation has helped lay the foundation for the expansion of our roles in medicine and beyond.”

Dr. Cohen received his medical degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine and completed his residency in anesthesiology at Emory University Affiliated Hospitals, Atlanta.



The Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor ASA bestows. It is presented annually for outstanding clinical, educational or scientific achievement, contribution to the specialty and/or exemplary service to the Society. ASA’s House of Delegates establishes policies governing the selection of a recipient for the Distinguished Service Award.



Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 52,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care every patient deserves.

For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit Join the ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2018 social conversation today. Like ASA on Facebook, follow ASALifeline on Twitter and use the hashtag #ANES18.

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Meeting Link: ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2018