About Dr. Cowles
My primary area of interest is the prevention of surgical fires and patient safety concerns with emphasis on awareness and training of hazards, physical plant design, adverse outcome investigations, and root cause analysis. My areas of clinical interest include pediatric anesthesiology, TIVA, neuroanesthesia, and awake craniotomies. In addition to clinical interests, I have a desire to learn and examine methods for the business of medicine including application of lean methodology, value strategy, and reduction of healthcare related costs. I also have an interest in the development of a debriefing system for employees, patients, and families who have experienced a crisis event.
I have secondary interests in disaster medicine, tactical medicine, stop-the bleed, naloxone rescue, and response to active shooter / hostile intruder situations in the healthcare setting.
Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Division of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Vice-Chair Acute and Critical Care Committee, Division of Ofc/EVP, Physician-in-Chief, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Operating Room Fire Prevention
Occupational Health of Anesthesia Providers
Law Enforcement Medical Response
Application of Lean Principles in the Healthcare Environment
Business of Medicine
Human Factors Engineering
Integration of technology into the surgical environment
Frailty in the Perioperative Patient
Anesthesia for Minimally invasive spine surgery
Anesthesia for Skull based surgery
Anesthesia for Proton Therapy
|2013||University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA, MBA, Physician MBA|
|2004||University of Texas-Houston, Houston, TX, USA, MD, Medicine|
|1998||University of Houston - Clear Lake, Houston, TX, USA, BS, Sports Medicine|
|1998||University of the State of New York, Albany, NY, USA, RN, Nursing|
|2005-2008||Clinical Residency, Anesthesiology, University of Texas - Houston, Houston, TX|
|2004-2005||Clinical Internship, Internal Medicine / Anesthesiology Categorical, University of Texas-Houston, Houston, TX|
|2019||Fellow of the Association of Anesthesia Clinical Directors|
|2017||Certification Board for Professionals in Patient safety|
|2017||Fellow of the American Society of Anesthesiologists|
|2014||American Board of Medical Quality|
|2010||American Board of Anesthesiology|
Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Division of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 2010 - 2015
Instructor, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Division of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 2008 - 2010
Professor, San Jacinto College District, Pasadena, TX, 1995 - 2000
Co-Chair MDA Protect, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 2020 - Present
Divisional COVID-19 Task Force Leader, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 2020 - 2020
Safety Officer, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 2018 - Present
Member PRS Retirement Board, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 2017 - 2019
Institutional Incident Commander, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 2017 - 2020
Clinical Medical Director, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 2011 - Present
Perioperative Safety Officer, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 2009 - Present
Advisor- Safe Use Initiative, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Bethesda, MD, 2010 - Present
Paramedic Supervisor, City of Beaumont Fire Dept, Beaumont, TX, 1989 - 1995
Paramedic, City Of Baytown, Baytown, TX, 1986 - 1989
Institutional Committee Activities
Member, Alternative Technologies Committee (Innovation), 2020 - Present
Co-Chair, MD Anderson Protect, 2019 - Present
Member, Divisional Performance and Outcomes Committee, 2018 - Present
Member, Houston Area Location Safety Committee, 2018 - 2019
Program Participant, Mentoring Up, 2018 - 2019
Chairman, Focus Group for Safety and Efficiency, 2017 - 2019
Member, Divisional Finance Committee, 2017 - Present
Vice-Chair, Acute & Critical Care Services Subcommittee, 2017 - Present
Charter Member, Institutional Patient Safety Committee, 2015 - Present
Physician Champion, ISO Tubing Connector Standards Committee, 2014 - 2020
Member, Task Force for Departmental Promotion, 2014 - 2017
Member, Operating Room Subcommittee, 2014 - Present
Chair, Interdisciplinary Clinical Alarm Safety Committee, 2014 - Present
Member, Quality Improvement Assessment Board, 2013 - Present
Member, Elevator Patient Care Workgroup, 2013 - 2014
Co-Chair, ICEC Subcommittee for Patient Safety-Surgical and Invasive Procedures, 2012 - 2015
Member, ICEC Subcommittee for Patient Safety-Incident Reporting, 2012 - 2015
Member, Division of Surgery Continuous Quality Improvement Committee, 2011 - Present
Member, Infection Control Committee, 2010 - Present
Member, Infection Control Core Committee, 2010 - Present
Member, POE Task Force for Point of Care Testing, 2010 - 2015
Ad hoc Advisor, Institutional Safety Committee, 2010 - Present
Member, Patient Safety Committee, 2009 - 2015
Co-Chairman, Perioperative Safety Council, 2009 - Present
Member, Laser Safety Committee, 2009 - Present
Chair, Critical Response Task Force, 2009 - 2011
Chair, Critical Response Task Force, 2009 - 2011
Member / Advisor, OR Pyxis Pilot Project, 2008 - 2010
Advisor on Procedure Room Ventilation Requirements, Facilities Guideline Institute (FGI)/ American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineering (ASHRAE), Spokane, WA, 2019 - Present
Editor for Surgical Fire Prevention Program, US FDA, Silver Spring, MD, 2014 - Present
Curriculum Committee Member - Nurse Anesthetist Program, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, Texas, 2010 - 2015
Advisor, ERCI, Plymouth Meeting, PA, 2009 - Present
Script Editor, Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation, Indianapolis, IN, 2009 - Present
Advisor for Surgical Fire Prevention, Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation, Indianapolis, IN, 2008 - Present
Medical Advisor, San Jacinto College Surgical Technology Department, Pasadena, TX, 2005 - Present
Military or Other Governmental Service
Local Health Authority, City of Pasadena, TX, 2020 - Present
Member, Houston Police-Houston Fire Active Shooter Integrated Response Task Force, 2018 - Present
Advisor for Texas Bioincident Recovery, US Department of Health and Human Services, 2018 - Present
Medical Advisor Southeast RIC, US DHS, 2015 - Present
Tactical Medical Director, Pasadena Police Department, 2015 - Present
|2019||Certificate of Meritorious Public Service, Harris County Constable's Office|
|2019||James F. Arens Award in Research Excellence, MD Anderson Cancer Center|
|2019||Distinguished Educator in Anesthesiology, American Society Anesthesiologist / Society for Education in Anesthesia|
|2019||Membership Advocate Recognition Award, Harris County Medical Society|
|2018||Membership Advocate Recognition Award, Harris County Medical Society|
|2017||James F. Arens Award in Research Excellence, MD Anderson Cancer Center|
|2017||Doctor's Choice Abstract Award, Texmed, 2017, Texas Medical Association|
|2015||Silver Award for Excellence in Academic Medicine, Texas Medical Association|
|2014||Super Doctor, Texas Monthly Magazine|
|2014||Employee of the Month, University of Texas MD Anderson Dept. of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine|
|2013||Rising Star Super Doctor, Texas Monthly Magazine|
|2012||FDA Citation of Achievement, US Food and Drug Administration|
|2011||Twenty Year Award, National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians|
|2008||Outstanding Performance in Airway Management, University of Texas-Houston Anesthesiology Department|
|2008||Outstanding Anesthesiology Resident in Neurosurgery, University of Texas- Houston Anesthesiology Department|
|2006||Outstanding Junior Anesthesiology Resident, University of Texas-Houston Anesthesiology Department|
|2003||Who's Who in America, Who's Who|
|2003||President, UT Houston Medical Student Anesthesia Club|
|1993||Who's Who in American Healthcare, Who's Who|
- Cowles CE, Culp WC. Prevention of and response to surgical fires. British Journal of Anaesthesia Education 19(8):261-266, 2019. e-Pub 2019.
- Hagan K, Bhavsar S, Arunkumar R, Grasu R, Dang A, Carlson R, Cowles C, Arnold B, Potylchansky Y, Rahlfs TF, Lipski I, Walsh C, Jimenez F, Nguyen AT, Feng L, Cata JP. Association Between Perioperative Hyperglycemia and Survival in Patients With Glioblastoma. J Neurosurg Anesthesiol 29(1):21-29, 2017. e-Pub 2016. PMID: 27438798.
- Bhavsar S, Hagan K, Arunkumar R, Potylchansky Y, Grasu R, Dang A, Carlson R, Cowles C, Arnold B, Rahlfs TF, Lipski I, Walsh C, Nguyen AT, Feng L, Cata J. Preoperative statin use is not associated with improvement in survival after glioblastoma surgery. J Clin Neurosci, 2016. e-Pub 2016.
- Tatsui CE, Stafford RJ, Li J, Sellin JN, Amini B, Rao G, Suki D, Ghia AJ, Brown P, Lee SH, Cowles CE, Weinberg JS, Rhines LD. Utilization of laser interstitial thermotherapy guided by real-time thermal MRI as an alternative to separation surgery in the management of spinal metastasis. J Neurosurg Spine:1-12. e-Pub 2015. PMID: 26140398.
- Ehrenwerth J, Cowles CE. The National Fire Protection Association: How It Impacts Patient Safety and Anesthesia Care. ASA Monitor 83(7):14-16, 2019.
- Cowles CE, Mitchell J, Stepp JE, Bewley VZ. Carfentanil: A new and often unrecognized threat. J Spec Ops Med 17(3):120-22, 2017. PMID: 28910481.
- Cowles CE, van Pelt M, Brull SJ, Eichhorn JH. Developing Patient Safety Leaders: Leadership Fellows Share Insights Gained from Program. APSF Newsletter 31(1):1-28,20-22, 2016.
- Cowles CE. Q&A: Reader Questions Fire Risk of Petroleum Based Products. APSF Newsletter 31(1):1-28, 25, 2016.
- Owusu-Agyemang P, Williams UU, Van Meter AK, Popovich S, Cowles CE, Holmes AA, Grasu RM, Casarez VQ, Arunkumar R, Porche V, Zavala AM. Multiple Anesthetics for Proton-Radiotherapy in a Child with Costello Syndrome. Open J Clin Med Case Rep 1(9):1053, 2015. e-Pub 2015.
- Cowles CE, Casarez VQ, Wiemers JW. "Extreme" Remote Locations Raise Unique Safety Concerns. APSF Newsletter 30(2):25-26, 40-41, 2015.
- Cowles CE, Chang JL. Flammable Surgical Preps Require Vigilance. APSF Newsletter 29(2):25-36, 2014. e-Pub 2014.
- Apfelbaum JL, Caplan RA, Barker SJ, Connis RT, Cowles C, Ehrenwerth J, Nickinovich DG, Pritchard D, Roberson DW, Caplan RA, Barker SJ, Connis RT, Cowles C, de Richemond AL, Ehrenwerth J, Nickinovich DG, Pritchard D, Roberson DW, Wolf GL, American Society of Anesthesiologists Task Force on Operating Room Fires. Practice advisory for the prevention and management of operating room fires: an updated report by the American Society of Anesthesiologists Task Force on Operating Room Fires. Anesthesiology 118(2):271-90, 2013. PMID: 23287706.
- Spratt D, Cowles CE, Berguer R, Dennis V, Waters TR, Rodriguez M, Spry C, Groah L. Workplace safety equals patient safety. AORN J 96(3):235-44, 2012. PMID: 22935253.
- Stoelting RK, Feldman JM, Cowles CE, Bruley ME. Surgical Fire Injuries Continue to Occur. APSF Newsletter 26(3):41-43, 2012.
- Cowles CE. Q&A, Why Should I Learn About Fire Extinguishers. APSF Newsletter 25(3-4):59-60, 2011.
- American Society of Anesthesiologists Task Force on Operating Room Fires, Caplan RA, Barker SJ, Connis RT, Cowles C, de Richemond AL, Ehrenwerth J, Nickinovich DG, Pritchard D, Roberson D, Wolf GL. Practice advisory for the prevention and management of operating room fires. Anesthesiology 108(5):786-801; quiz 971-2, 2008. PMID: 18431114.
Manuals, Teaching Aids, Other Teaching Publications
- NFPA. NFPA 99: Healthcare Facilities Code. NFPA: Batterypark, MD, 2017.
- Cowles CE, Santos RE Surgical Airway in a Tactical Environment: A Case Report. J Spec Oper Med 20(1):29-30, 2020. PMID: 32203600.
- Cowles CE, Thakar D, Thakar S A Large Intracardiac Clear Cell Sarcoma Metastasis. J Anes Int Care 5(4):555667, 2018.
- Cowles CE Keel Lough, Achill Island [Photo]. New England Journal of Medicine 370(3):253, 2014.
- Cowles CE, Skibber JM Creating an Easy and Cost-Effective Solution for Patient Identification. UHC News(April 2012), 2012.
- ECRI Institute New clinical guide to surgical fire prevention [guidance article]. Health Devices 38(19):314-332, 2009.
- Heller A ASA Issues Guidance for OR Fires. Anesthesiology News 34(7):1, 2008.
- Williams UU, Moon-Calderon T, VanMeter A, Zavala A, Thakar D, Popat K, Cowles C, Duffy C, Owusu-Agyemang P. Emergent Mangement of Airway Bleeding in a Patient Undergoing a Lung Biopsy in Interventional Radiology. World Airway Management Meeting, 2019.
- Cowles CE, Soliz JM, Hafner L, Shrout Y, Ramos L, Westaway C, Veazie M, Matute G, Brydges G. Impact of major medical conferences on scheduled clinical operations. Association of Anesthesia Clinical Directors Annual Meeting, 2019.
- Grissom TE, Roux NP, Cowles CE, Murray MJ, Lancman BM. Trauma and the Anesthesiologist: Be prepared. American Society of Anesthesiologists Annual Meeting, 2018.
- Soliz JM, Cowles C, Potylchansky Y, Lasala J, VanMeter A, Rahlfs T, Gottumukkala V. The evolution of team-based anesthesia staffing into ultra-subspecialty anesthesia teams at a major academic cancer hospital: The end to the master of all anesthetics. Association of Anesthesia Clinical Directors Annual Meeting, 2018.
- Soliz JM, Cowles C. Attributes of physician anesthesiologists requested by surgeons. Association of Anesthesia Clinical Directors Annual Meeting, 2018.
- Cowles CE, Santos RE. Out of hospital surgical airway in a tactical environment: A case report. Society of Airway Management Annual Meeting, 2018.
- Cowles CE, Soliz J. Safe culture? A burning question answered by fire safety awareness. BMJ Leader 1:A18-A19, 2017.
- Cowles CE, Soliz J, Moon T, Sarkiss M, Tsai J. Emergency Equipment Open House in the Surgical Setting. Texas Medical Association, 2017.
- VanMeter A, Zavala A, Williams U, Cowles C, Rebello E, Tan J, Vacchani S, Tsai J, Nunez J, Owusu-. An effective solution for the kinking pediatric endotracheal tube. Harvard Medical School Principles of Pediatric Anesthesia and Critical Care Course, 2016.
- Cowles CE, Luongo N, Cata JP, French K, Holmes H, Mehranian S, Andrabi T. Prediction of adverse postoperative outcomes after targeted preoperative assessment of geriatric patients at a cancer center. Anaes Int Care 45(1):98, 2016.
- Cowles CE, Luongo N, Cata JP, French K, Jones J, Holmes H, Andrabi T. The Implementation of a Pre-Operative Geriatric Assessment Tool and the Impact on Patients at a Large Cancer Center. Proceedings of the NPSF, 2015.
- Cowles CE, Luongo N, Cata JP, French K, Jones J, Holmes H, Andrabi T. The Implementation of a Pre-operative Geriatric Assessment Tool and the Impact on Patients at a Large Cancer Center. National Patient Safety Foundation Safety Congress, 2015.
- Zavala A, Williams U, VanMeter A, Casarez V, Cowles C, Hagan K, Cata J, Owusu-Agyemang P. Method for reduction in atelactasis during pediatric sedation for computed tomography of the chest. Meeting of the Harvard Medical School, 2015.
- Cowles CE, Zavala A, Casarez VQ. Facilties Planning and Medical Considerations for Proton Treatment Centers. Harvard Medical School Meeting for Pediatric Anesthesiologists, 2015.
- Cowles CE, Galloy B. Improvment of Patient Transportation by Implementation of Elevator Signage. Asian and Australasian Congress of Anaesthesiologists, 2014.
- Cowles CE, Herrera JL. Single-Item Savings by Application of Supply Chain Theorem at an Academic Medical Center. American Society of Anesthesiologists Conference on Practice Management, 2014.
- Ferson DZ, Lipski I, Hamid Y, Grasu R, Dang AQ, Cowles CE, Nguyen LT, Nguyen AT, Arunkumar R, Lang FF, Chi TL. Use of Supraglottic Airways in Patients Undergoing Brain Tumor Surgery in Eloquent Areas and Intraoperative Neurological Mapping and Monitoring with an Asleep-Awake-Asleep Technique. American Society of Anesthesiologists Annual Meeting, 2014.
- Laqua T, Goss A, Morris M, Galle B, Brydges G, Cowles C. Retrospective Analysis of Scalp Block Infection Rates and Efficacy in Post-Opertive Pain Control. New York State Society of Anesthesiologists Post Graduate Assembly, 2014.
- Weinberg J, Cowles CE, Berkheiser M. Safety Procedure During Simulated Quench of Intraoperative MRI. American Academy of Neurosurgeons Annual Meeting, New Orleans LA, 2013.
- Levenback C, Aloia T, Cowles C, Foster J, Konstanzer R, Lai S, McCutcheon I, Mehran R, Modaro C, Moon B, Rahlfs T, Reece G, Segal C, Skibber J, Walsh G, Ward J.. Implementing a Surgical Safety Checklist. MD Anderson Celebrating Improvement Annual Meeting, 2013.
- Cowles CE, Freedkin A. Implementation of an Incident Command System for Evacuation Planning of a Large Surgical Suite in an Academic Hospital. University of Texas Clincal Effectiveness Conference, 2013.
- Cowles CE and Pivalizza EG. Survey of Surgical Personnel to Enact the “RACE-PASS” Fire Safety Plan. British Journal of Anaesthesia 108(Supplement 2):ii326-7, 2012.
- Rebello, E, Cowles C, Kee S, Hernandez M, Sapire K.. Evaluation and Implementation of an Automated Medication Dispensing System into Anesthesia Worksites at a Large University Hospital. Anesthesia and Analgesia 110(3):S 152, 2010.
- Brydges G, BrydgesN, Cowles C. Skull Base and Endoscopic Procedures in Cancer Patients. In: Oncologic Critical Care. Springer: Cham, 2019.
- Cowles CE. Fire Safety in the Operating Room. In: Up-to-Date. Wolters Kluwer: Waltham, MA, 2015.
- Cowles CE. The Operating Room Environment. In: Morgan and Mikhails's Clinical Anesthesiology. 5th. Appleton and Lange: New York, 2013.
- Cowles CE. Airway Fire. In: The 5 Minute Anesthesia Consult. First. Lippincott Williams and wilkins: Philadelphia, PA, 2013.
- Cowles CE. Smoke Inhalation Injury. In: The 5 Minute Anesthesia Consult. First. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins: Philadelphia, PA, 2013.
Letters to the Editor
- Cowles CE. Regarding fiberoptic intubation and laryngeal morbidity. Anesthesiology 108: 1150-1; author reply 1151, 2008.
|Title:||Healthcare Safety and Effectiveness Grants|
|Funding Source:||University of Texas System|
|Title:||Comprehensive Patient Safety Leadership Fellowship|
|Funding Source:||National Patient Safety Foundation Endowment|