Kevin K. Tremper, M.D., Ph.D., FRCA, chair of the U-M Department of Anesthesiology, honored for commitment to advances in technology and patient safety
The Society for Technology in Anesthesia awarded University of Michigan anesthesiologist Kevin K. Tremper, M.D., Ph.D., the J.S. Gravenstein Award for lifetime achievement for technology in anesthesia.
The STA Board of Directors presented the award to Tremper Jan. 20 during its annual meeting in Palm Beach, Fla. The award is named in honor of the former president of the STA who was a driving force in advancing anesthesia technology, patient simulation, and anesthesia patient safety.
Tremper is the Robert B. Sweet professor of anesthesiology and chair of the U-M Department of Anesthesiology whose research using one-of-a-kind software is leading changes in perioperative care to prevent adverse patient outcomes.
After receiving his Ph.D. in chemical engineering at University of California-Berkeley, Tremper became interested in the applications of engineering to physiology and medicine. He subsequently earned his medical degree from the UC-Irvine.
A critical care research fellowship was followed by a residency in anesthesiology at UCLA.
In 1983 he joined the faculty at U-C Irvine and served as its chair of anesthesiology before joining the U-M Department of Anesthesiology in 1991. In 1999, Tremper was appointed as a fellow of the Royal College of Anaesthetists (FRCA), and in 2004 he was elected to the Board of Directors of The Friends of the Royal College of Anaesthetists.
He has conducted research on various techniques for continuously monitoring oxygenation in patients and his research interests continue to include invasive and noninvasive patient monitoring.
In the mid-1990s he initiated a co-development effort with a software company to create a perioperative information management system to be used for patient care, education, and clinical outcomes research. This co-development partner was purchased by General Electric in 2001 and today the U-M’s Department of Anesthesiology is the development site for GE’s perioperative software.
The U-M’s perioperative patient database is one of the largest in the world and has resulted in a series of academic publications determining patients at risk for adverse outcomes.
In 2008 he was the founding director of a nationwide perioperative data sharing clinical research organization: Multicenter Perioperative Outcomes Group — MPOG. He currently is developing a new generation of alerting display system, AlertWatch, for use in operating rooms and intensive care units.
Clinically, Tremper has a subspecialty interest in anesthesia for head and neck surgery.
Tremper is involved in medical school and hospital affairs and, in addition to his role as reviewer and board member of more than a dozen academic journals, he is completing a two-year term as president of the Association of University Anesthesiologists.
He has also had leadership roles in the American Society of Anesthesiologists — leading its Subcommittee on Equipment, Monitoring and Engineering Technology — the American Board of Anesthesiology, and Past-President of the Association of Anesthesiology Program Directors/Society of Academic Anesthesiology Chairs.
In 2010 Tremper was selected to give the keynote address, Emery A. Rovenstine Memorial Lecture, at the American Society of Anesthesiologists national meeting, entitled Anesthesiology: From Patient Safety to Population Outcomes. He has continued to be a sought-after speaker at national and international academic centers for his work on optimizing information systems to improve patient outcomes.