U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito Announces Distinguished Alumnus Award for Cooper Health CEO Kevin M. O’Dowd
NEWARK, N.J (STL.News) Kevin M. O’Dowd, the co-President/CEO of Cooper University Health Care, received the first ever Distinguished Alumnus Award from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey for his exceptional leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest public health crisis this state has ever encountered,” U.S. Attorney Carpenito said. “In times of crisis, we need great leaders, and Kevin O’Dowd is precisely the kind of leader New Jersey needs right now. I was blessed to work directly with Kevin at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and watch his impressive career. Because he is now standing out as a leader in the state’s response to COVID-19, I can think of no one more deserving for our first ever Distinguished Alumnus Award.”
In March 2020, Gov. Phil Murphy appointed Mr. O’Dowd to serve as the State’s Southern Regional Coordinator for COVID-19 response. In this capacity, he serves as the New Jersey Department of Health’s lead hospital contact in connection with COVID-19 response efforts in seven counties. Mr. O’Dowd has been charged with identifying and coordinating regional bed capacity, developing strategies for allocating patients based upon critical care bed availability, developing surge plans for transporting patients as needed, setting up COVID-19 testing sites, supporting regional Field Medical Sites and collecting and communicating real-time data to the Department of Health on critical information about new cases, changes in medical models of care, bed capacity, resources, and supply of PPE. To date, the hospitals in the southern region have treated more than 40,000 COVID-positive patients. As 2021 begins, Mr. O’Dowd is also assisting the Department of Health in performing the critical mission of coordinating a vaccination plan in order to bring the virus under control.
Before joining Cooper, Mr. O’Dowd served in the Cabinet of Gov. Chris Christie, including as Chief of Staff from 2012 to 2014. Prior to joining the Christie Administration in 2010 as counsel to the Governor, he served as the Chief of the Securities and Health Care Fraud Unit in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. During his seven-year tenure, Mr. O’Dowd investigated and prosecuted cases ranging from computer hacking and intellectual property theft to complex health care, securities, and financial fraud. He was also the Chair of the office’s Health Care Task Force. Mr. O’Dowd was twice awarded the Integrity Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Award for Excellence from the U.S. President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency. In 2012, Seton Hall University School of Law presented Mr. O’Dowd with the St. Thomas More Medal for his distinguished public service.