David Tom Cooke, MD, FACS
Advocacy and program work
American Lung Association in California
Volunteer Excellence Award
Dr. David Cooke joined the board of the American Lung Association in California in 2010 and quickly became an integral part of the organization's advocacy and program work in championing lung health programs and policies.
He has firsthand knowledge of lung health problems in California through the lens of a thoracic surgeon with patients suffering from lung disease.
Dr. Cooke provided testimony at hearings to support strong federal clean air standards and has spoken out in congressional letters and statements defending the Clean Air Act. In addition to his extraordinary advocacy work, Dr. Cooke has been a generous donor to our organization, including a key fundraiser for California's statewide campaign to raise funds for lung cancer last year.
He is also passionate about medical education and student mentorship. He is a longitudinal career advisor for University of California Davis (UC Davis) medical students and a sponsor for the Cal Externship Program.
Dr. Cooke developed the UC Davis Integrative 6-year Thoracic Surgery Residency. This novel program matches medical students directly into cardiothoracic surgery residency, shaving years off of training. UC Davis' program is one of only 24 in the country and the only program in the University of California system. For this and more, he earned the 2016 University of California Alumni Association Excellence in Achievement Award.
Dr. Cooke is a tremendously effective advocate for the mission of the American Lung Association and dedicates himself to championing all of our initiatives, both state and nationwide.