Camden, NJ, Sept. 19, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, Cooper University Health Care and Cooper’s MD Anderson Cancer Center announced a new $2 billion expansion in the city of Camden, where it was founded 135 years ago. Board Chairman George E. Norcross III, Co-CEOs Kevin M. O’Dowd, JD, and Anthony J. Mazzarelli, MD, JD, and the Cooper University Health Care Board of Trustees have Joined by Camden County native Kelly Ripa, Gov. Phil Murphy and former Gov. Chris Christie made the announcement at the Camden House of South Jersey’s only University Health System and MD Anderson Cancer Center market leader at Cooper.
The new investment – the largest in Camden County history – will significantly expand the University Health System’s Camden campus to meet current and projected future demand at Cooper University Hospital and Cooper’s MD Anderson Cancer Center.
“This announcement not only represents the culmination of Cooper’s incredible turnaround since facing bankruptcy at the turn of the century, it is also a sign of our commitment and faith in Camden, its people. and our common future,” Mr. Norcross. “Cooper’s commitment to its home community is a model of how entrepreneurial leadership can spark imaginations and new opportunities that benefit local residents. Camden’s transformation from the poorest town and America’s Most Dangerous in a Booming City is a national model of what cities can achieve with commitment, faith and hard work.
The $2 billion expansion will add three new clinical towers with more than 100 new private rooms. The new eco-friendly facilities will include emerging technologies and innovations to provide advanced care and support, and expand education and teaching space in South Jersey’s only university healthcare system that will help attract and retain the best specialists and medical experts.
“Cooper dreamed big and achieved its dreams of transforming itself into a leading university healthcare system in the South Jersey region,” said Ms Ripa, who was unable to attend as planned, and sent her message by video. “Having grown up in the area, it is especially important to be invited to participate in the announcement of Cooper’s latest major investment, this time in Camden, demonstrating their commitment and the power to imagine a bigger and better future for the people. local residents.”
Ms. Ripa, originally from Camden County, has a long connection to Cooper. For several years, she was the public face of the health care system. Ms. Ripa helped launch the Ripa Center for Women’s Health and Wellness at Cooper in Voorhees, a facility created by and for women offering comprehensive health center services close to home and work. Since its launch 15 years ago, the Ripa Center for Women’s Health and Wellbeing has supported thousands of local women with quality health care and has expanded to a second location in Haddonfield in august. She also attended the opening of Roberts Pavilion at Cooper University Hospital in 2008.
From its nadir in 1999, when it was just weeks away from missing payroll, Cooper has transformed into one of the leading academic health systems in the greater Philadelphia area. Cooper includes the region’s busiest level I trauma center (Cooper University Hospital), a premier cancer center (Cooper’s MD Anderson Cancer Center), the only pediatric level II trauma center in the Valley of the Delaware (Children’s Regional Hospital in Cooper), three urgent care centers and over 100 outpatient clinics in South Jersey. With more than 8,900 employees, including 1,600 nurses and more than 850 practicing physicians and 450 advanced practice providers practicing in more than 75 specialties, Cooper is the largest private employer in the City and County of Camden.
“Camden has seen a dramatic transformation in recent years as many state and local partners have worked together to improve the city, and Cooper has played a vital role in those efforts,” Governor Murphy said.. “By supporting public safety, educational opportunities and job creation in addition to providing quality medical care, Cooper has taken a holistic and meaningful approach to strengthening the health of the community it serves. I applaud this new expansion and Cooper’s continued work to improve the lives of Camden residents.
“During the pandemic, Cooper has ensured that high quality healthcare is accessible to all neighborhoods in our community. He made heroic efforts to reach out to communities in our area and provide care to those in need. This $2 billion investment will increase Cooper’s ability to provide high quality health care in the region and continue to be an essential partner in promoting the health and well-being of our communities,” said Congressman Norcross.
“Today is a celebration of all the professionals who have served at Cooper over the past 135 years. Cooper has become a nationally recognized elite academic healthcare system, and this amazing transformation could only be achieved only through the tireless efforts of dedicated and committed team members,” said Kevin O’Dowd, JD, Co-CEO of Cooper. “Today, we say thank you to everyone who has been a part of the Cooper team for making possible this landmark announcement that will solidify our role in the community for many decades to come.”
“This expansion will give our dedicated professionals the resources, innovation and flexibility to continue to serve, heal and educate our community and allow us to recruit more top-notch talent,” said Anthony J. Mazzarelli, MD, JD, MBE, co-CEO of Cooper.
As a regional health care leader, Cooper is committed to helping city residents lead healthy, full lives and contributing to Camden’s recovery. In addition to significantly expanding its operations and expertise in recent years with the addition of the MD Anderson Cancer Center at Rowan University’s Cooper and Cooper Medical School, Cooper has significantly improved EMS service in the city when it resumed service in 2016. The Cooper EMS team achieved a response time from dispatch to arrival on scene of eight minutes or less for 91.7% of its advanced rescue calls ( ALS). Cooper EMS was the first EMS team in the nation to institute a Suboxone program in 2019 to save lives in the fight against the opioid crisis.
Cooper serves its extended community in many other ways, including the HeroCare Connect program in partnership with Deborah Heart and Lung Center, which provides specialized care to serving and retired military personnel and their families. The Cooper Trauma Center is the busiest in the area – the only Level 1 trauma center in South Jersey – and its experts train medical providers from every military branch – one of the only health systems in the states United to do so. Cooper’s trauma experts also provide training to several local, state and federal government agencies, including Project Cadence, a new training program with the Department of Homeland Security.
Cooper is a founding member of the Camden Health and Athletic Association (CHAA), a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding youth athletic programs and health initiatives in the town of Camden. Since 2016, CHAA has helped over 1,000 Camden children participate in a variety of sporting activities. Cooper also helps Camden residents work with a variety of free training programs leading to jobs as medical coders and critical care technicians, among others.
Cooper also provides direct assistance to those in need through various in-kind donation programs. For the past 10 years, Cooper employees have generously donated backpacks and school supplies to students in Camden. Last year, 33 Camden nonprofits received grants from the Camden Community Grant Program, created with $1 million in donations by founding sponsors Conner, Strong & Buckelew; American water; the Michaels organization; domestic freight industries; and the Cooper Foundation. The program addresses the social determinants of health by funding initiatives that focus on community-building activities, including housing improvements, workforce and leadership development, coalition building and improving health.
Over the past decade, Camden has gone from being the poorest and most violent town in the nation to a place that then-President Barack Obama called in 2015 “a symbol of promise to the nation.” Through an unprecedented partnership between government, business, non-profit organizations and faith leaders focused on improving the four pillars of quality of life in the city and for city residents, Camden:
- It’s been the safest for 50 years.
- Experienced an unprecedented turnaround and expansion of schools with better results.
- Improved streets, neighborhoods, expanded parks and recreational activities.
- Increased number of jobs and training programs.
In recognition of its progress, rating service Standard & Poor’s recently upgraded the city’s bond rating to A- for the first time in at least 40 years.
Today, major corporate and non-profit employers who call Camden home and invest in its future include American Water, Campbell Soup Company, Rutgers-Camden, NFI, Holtec, the Michaels Organization, EMR, Camden County College, Rowan University, CSB, the 76ers and Lockheed Martin.
Today’s announcement builds on more than $3.5 billion that has been invested by private and not-for-profit employers and developers and is just one of many investments to come for the city and its future. The State of New Jersey recently approved $300 million for the rehabilitation of the Rand Transportation Center, a vital link to suburban Camden and Philadelphia that will spur new investment in the city as it continues its unprecedented revitalization. ###
Cooper University Health Systems Announces $2 Billion Expansion