Sepsis Management Expert to be Honored for Lifetime Achievement

2014 - 6 December - Disaster Management
This article celebrates R. Phillip Dellinger, MD, MCCM, who will receive the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s Lifetime Achievement Award during the 44th Critical Care Congress.

A renowned expert in the management and treatment of sepsis, R. Phillip Dellinger, MD, MCCM, will be honored for his pioneering contributions to the field of critical care through the advancement of medical science, education and patient care when he receives the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s (SCCM) Lifetime Achievement Award during the 44th Critical Care Congress in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Dr. Dellinger, who co-founded the Surviving Sepsis Campaign (SSC), will also serve as a plenary speaker during Congress, presenting “The Practice of Critical Care Medicine: Ten Things We Can (and Must) Do Better.”
“It is truly an honor to receive the Society’s highest honor,” said Dr. Dellinger.

He certainly earned it.

“Dr. Dellinger has been a leading figure in advancing the management and treatment of sepsis for the past 20 years,” said Mitchell Levy, MD, FCCP, FCCM, SSC co-founder and 2012 co-chair of the SSC Guidelines Committee. “He has been instrumental in developing and planning protocols for clinical trials and has been the principal investigator on several important and definitive trials.” 

SCCM President J. Christopher Farmer, MD, FCCM, echoed this sentiment.

“Dr. Dellinger has been the pragmatic, calm voice of reason who keeps his eyes persistently on the sepsis horizon,” said Dr. Farmer. “Early on in the Surviving Sepsis Campaign, there was a great need for strong leadership and project guidance. Phil was that person. He kept many disparate, smart people together, achieving a workable plan and broad consensus.”

Dr. Dellinger is currently Professor and Chairman of Medicine at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University in Camden, New Jersey, USA. He is also Medical Director of the Adult Health Institute and a Senior Critical Care Attending at Cooper University Health Care. In addition, he is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Pulmonary Medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Previously, he was Director of Critical Care at Cooper University Health Care.

Dr. Dellinger received his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina and did his residency and fellowship training at Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, USA. Dr. Dellinger’s academic interests have centered on new and innovative sepsis therapies, sepsis management and sepsis performance improvement.

Beyond co-founding the SSC, Dr. Dellinger was an associate chair of the 1991 consensus conference held by SCCM and the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) that created the first definitions for sepsis and chaired the 1997 National Institutes of Health (NIH)/ACCP workshop, “From the Bench to the Bedside: The Future of Sepsis Research.” He went on to co-chair the committee that created the 2004 SSC Guidelines for Management of Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock and subsequently chaired the committee that revised these guidelines in 2008. Recently, he was 2012 co-chair of the SSC Guidelines Committee, which produced the updated 2012 guidelines. These guidelines are sponsored by 30 international scientific organizations. Dr. Dellinger continues to be heavily involved in the Campaign and presently serves on the SSC Steering Committee.

“Co-founding and helping lead the Surviving Sepsis Campaign is one of my proudest accomplishments,” said Dr. Dellinger. “I can see the impact this initiative has had on patient care through the emphasis now placed on early identification and treatment of patients with this condition.”

A past chairman of the International Sepsis Forum (ISF), Dr. Dellinger also serves on the ISF Council and was co-chair of the 2012 ISF Colloquium on clinical trial design held at the NIH. He previously served on the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) ICU Collaborative Advisory Board as well as faculty for the Rhode Island Hospital Association sepsis performance improvement initiative. He currently serves as faculty for the New Jersey Hospital Association Sepsis Performance Improvement Collaborative. He also currently serves as faculty for the SCCM/Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation initiative: Sepsis on the Floors Quality Improvement Learning Collaborative. In addition, he co-chairs content development for the ongoing Maryland Hospital Association and Maryland Patient Safety Center Improving Sepsis Survival Initiative. 

Besides his contributions in advancing the management of sepsis, Dr. Dellinger also created the concept for SCCM’s Fundamental Critical Care Support (FCCS) course and subsequently served as the first FCCS Program Committee chair. Each year, more than 10,000 clinicians on five continents receive FCCS training.

“This is certainly another point of pride,” Dr. Dellinger said.

As if this were not enough, Dr. Dellinger was SCCM President from 1998 to 1999, and he is currently an associate editor of the Society’s journal, Critical Care Medicine. Somehow, with his myriad commitments, he still managed to co-edit the second, third and fourth (2014) editions of the major critical care textbook, Critical Care Medicine (Mosby). In total, Dr. Dellinger has authored over 250 journal articles and book chapters, and edited more than 30 books and journal issues in the field of critical care medicine, featuring both laboratory and clinical research.