Randy Cooper, M.D., Wins Statewide Physician Hero Award

ATLANTA – General surgeon and University Health Care System Medical Director of Breast Health Services Randy Cooper, M.D, was awarded the prestigious Georgia Physician Heroes Award at the Georgia Hospital Association’s (GHA) annual Hospital Heroes Awards luncheon on Nov. 2 in Atlanta. Dr. Cooper, who was one of only two physicians statewide to receive the award, was recognized for his commitment to the care of breast health patients.

Dr. Cooper is known in Augusta for revolutionizing breast health. He has been a practicing surgeon for nearly 40 years, serving as the chief of surgery of University Health Care System for more than 22 years. He also served on the board of the hospital for 20 years during a time of tremendous growth and development. He developed a passion for breast cancer care and worked to educate the community on the importance of early detection, fast and accurate diagnoses, individualized treatment and support during cancer treatment and recovery.

Dr. Cooper recognized the importance of these factors after seeing the stress and worry of patients who waited a week or more for biopsy results. Determined to make a change in this area, he pitched the idea for a specialized breast care center that would offer a complete continuum of care, including offering biopsy results within 24 hours. A year after his pitch, University Health Care System opened its Breast Health Center that elevated the standard of breast health care in the community. Not only does the center offer a quick turn-around on biopsy results, but Dr. Cooper personally calls patients after surgery to check their progress and has been known to visit patients at home to alleviate their fears.

Dr. Cooper is also very involved in the community as part of his efforts to raise awareness of breast cancer care. For the past 17 years, he has emceed and walked with patients in the University Health Care Foundation Miracle Mile Walk, which is held every year to raise money to support breast cancer awareness.

“Dr. Cooper has helped revolutionize breast cancer care for his community and the state of Georgia,” said GHA President and CEO Earl Rogers. “Thanks to his efforts, many patients have found comfort and peace during a difficult and distressing time in their lives. We are pleased to honor him with this award.”