OU Health Names Chief Surgical Officer for Cancer Services

  • Category: News
  • Posted On:
OU Health Names Chief Surgical Officer for Cancer Services

OU Health urologist Michael S. Cookson, M.D., has been named Chief Surgical Officer for Cancer Services for the OU Health enterprise and for OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center. He continues to serve as Chair and Professor of the Department of Urology in the OU College of Medicine and Chief of Urology at Stephenson Cancer Center.

Cookson brings years of service in academic medicine to his new roles and will guide OU Health as it advances its mission of providing high-quality, innovative surgical care to patients with cancer.

“We are excited to announce Dr. Cookson’s new leadership positions for OU Health as a whole and for Stephenson Cancer Center,” said John Zubialde, M.D., Executive Dean of the OU College of Medicine. “His extensive experience in surgical innovations, and his commitment to research-driven patient care, will propel our enterprise as we expand the services we provide to patients across Oklahoma and beyond.”

Cookson is a graduate of the OU College of Medicine, and he completed his residency training at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He completed a urological oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and he holds a master’s degree in Management of Health Care from Vanderbilt University.

Cookson returned to Oklahoma in 2013, after serving for 15 years at Vanderbilt University, where he served as Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Urologic Surgery.

In addition to his busy clinical practice at OU Health, Cookson is active as a researcher. He oversees several ongoing clinical trials, and is an international leader in research that has advanced care for urologic cancers. Among his many achievements is leading a trial that proved the effectiveness of an oral medication for metastatic prostate cancer, the first treatment advance for that disease in many years. Cookson is the author of more than 250 peer-reviewed research publications and 30 chapters of various textbooks in urology and urological surgery.

As Chief Surgical Officer for Cancer Services for both OU Health and Stephenson Cancer Center, Cookson will oversee the breadth of surgical options for children and adults with all types of cancer. One of every six Oklahomans seeking cancer treatment is cared for at Stephenson Cancer Center, the state’s only National Cancer Institute-Designated Cancer Center. Surgical suites at both Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health and the University of Oklahoma Medical Center provide the most advanced technology for surgical procedures, including 32 new operating rooms for adults at the newly opened eight-story North Tower. Cookson also brings substantial expertise in minimally invasive surgery and robotic surgery.

“As part of our clinical strategic plan at OU Health, we are building a pathway to care for even more Oklahomans who have been diagnosed with cancer. Dr. Cookson is the ideal person to help lead that surgical growth for our comprehensive academic healthcare system,” said Ian Dunn, M.D., OU Health Interim Chief Physician Executive and Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at OU College of Medicine. “We care for more patients with complex conditions than anyone else in the state, and Dr. Cookson’s surgical proficiency and leadership are invaluable to our enterprise.”

As chair of the Department of Urology, Cookson oversees the education of medical students and residents preparing for careers in pediatric or adult urology. He is also a member of numerous state, national and international organizations, including currently serving as president of the Society of Urologic Oncology and the South Central Section of the American Urological Association. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and holds the Donald D. Albers, M.D. Endowed Chair in Urology at the OU College of Medicine.

“I am excited about this opportunity to lead our cancer surgical mission at OU Health,” Cookson said. “OU Health is poised for growth in all areas of our mission, and we are eager to serve even more patients with the services that only a comprehensive academic healthcare system can provide.”