Cuthbert Ormond Simpkins, Jr. (born August 20, 1947 in Chicago, Illinois), is a physician, biographer and inventor, best known for his work on shock and violence prevention and for his 1975 biography of the jazz musician John Coltrane. Dr. Simpkins' completed his surgical training in 1980 at St. Luke's Hospital in New York City and Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. After his surgical training, he did research fellowships at the Boston University School of Medicine and the Naval Medical Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. While in the United States Navy, Simpkins achieved the rank of Commander and received two commendations for excellence in research. Simpkins is board certified in surgical critical care. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and an honorary member of the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma. Dr. Simpkins has consistently been a strong advocate for the provision of the best care possible for patients.
He has made original scientific contributions concerning the pathophysiology of shock and violence prevention. In 1993, he designed and established the Violence Intervention Program (VIP) which continues at the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, Maryland. Under this program a masters level social worker, Ms. Mary Hampton, interviewed hospitalized victims when they recovered sufficiently to converse. From this interview Ms. Hampton would obtain an extensive personal history and an individualized plan of intensive case management and counseling. After discharge from the hospital, the intervention continued with Ms. Hampton making home visits and conducting group sessions. The purpose of the intervention was to prepare the patient for employment and maintenance of employment once a job was secured. The first-year results were encouraging. Simpkins left Shock Trauma for the State University of New York School of Medicine in Buffalo. The results of a study of this program were published in the Journal of Trauma, Volume 61, pages 534-537, 2006. The lead author of the study was Dr. Carnell Cooper who took over the directorship of the program in 1994 after Dr. Simpkins' departure. As the director of the Trauma Program at LSU Health Sciences Center he continued his advocacy for patients embarking on modernization and reforms of the Trauma Program. While at LSU he led the restoration of the institution's certification by the American College of Surgeons as an adult level one trauma center as well as its new designation as a pediatric level one-trauma center. In addition, he established the Surgical Critical Care Team and collaborated with the hospital Infection Control Committee, and SICU nurses to reduce the previously high infection rate to rates that were consistently well below the national average. Simpkins was recognized for his teaching skills by the LSU surgical residents who awarded him with the "Best Faculty Teacher Award" in 2007. His focus on patient care led to his receipt of the Patient's Choice Award. According to the award sponsors, MDx Medical, Inc. fewer than 5 percent of the nation's physicians, 720,000 physicians, receive this award, which is based on surveying the comments of patients about their physician. In July 2008, the LSU hospital administration gave Dr. Simpkins the "Team Recognition Award" for "...commitment to excellence in the care and treatment of our patients, their families and our guests." The award further noted his "… positive attitude and caring spirit".