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CMSRU faculty member receives prestigious national honor from the Society of Critical Care Medicine

Christa A. Schorr, DNP, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, FCCM, a clinical nurse scientist at Cooper University Health Care and associate professor of medicine at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU), has been named the 2021 recipient of the prestigious A.S. Laerdal Memorial Lecture Award by the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM).

The Laerdal Memorial Lecture was established in 1991 and is given each year to commemorate Asmund S. Laerdal, creator of the Resusci-Anne model used in CPR training procedures. The award had been given to four past SCCM presidents including Max Harry Weil, M.D., first president of the SCCM, and Peter Safar, M.D., considered by most as the father of modern cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The recipient is chosen based on an individual’s body of work in critical care research and publishing. Established in 1983, the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) awards and grants program promotes excellence in teaching and research with the goal of improved care of critically ill and injured patients.

Dr. Schorr is the second woman and the first nurse in the award’s history to receive the honor, which will be bestowed virtually at the annual meeting of the SCCM this week.

“We are incredibly proud of her achievement.  The impressive research Dr. Schorr has conducted at Cooper advances the treatment of the most critically ill patients. Epitomizing interprofessional research she serves as a role model for our nurses,” said Dr. Harry Mazurek, CMSRU associate dean for research and director of the Cooper Research Institute.

“Christa Schorr's selection for SCCM's 50th Anniversary Laerdal Award celebrates her drive, dedication, courage, and innovation in pursuing the best care for the critically ill and injured.  She embodies excellence in bedside care, scientific inquiry, as well as quality and process improvement while focusing on a global driver of illness and disability - sepsis.  Her contributions are readily deployable and enable clinicians worldwide to more rapidly identify and rescue patients with sepsis and septic shock.  We are all exceptionally pleased to honor her career spanning achievements during the A.S. Laerdal Memorial lecture,” said Lewis J. Kaplan, MD, FACS, FCCP, FCCM, immediate past-president, Society of Critical Care Medicine.

Dr. Schorr has more than 25 years of clinical, quality improvement, and research experience in critical care.  She has authored or co-authored more than 180 peer-reviewed articles, invited book chapters, and abstracts. Her guidance in leading multidisciplinary teams has produced more than 120 local, national or international abstracts, presentations, and manuscripts related to performance improvement and research process.

She is one of the three-person team that developed, field-tested and finalized the content of the Surviving Sepsis Campaign (SSC) performance improvement software that has been used by more than 200 sites worldwide. She was the nurse leader in the development of the SSC software revision to reflect the 2012 guidelines.  She has co-authored many publications dealing with the impact of the SSC performance improvement program on process change and outcomes in severe sepsis/septic shock.

Dr. Schorr has participated in resuscitation related investigations concentrated on performance improvement in the critical first six hours of resuscitation of severe sepsis/septic shock. She has served extensively within the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) SCCM in a variety of leadership roles and committees. 

A graduate of Thomas Jefferson University School of Nursing, Philadelphia, Dr. Schorr obtained both a master’s degree in nursing clinical research and a doctorate in nursing practice from Philadelphia’s Drexel University.