By: Savannah Scarborough, Follow South Jersey Intern
CAMDEN, N.J. – Cooper University Health Care and MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper released its new $2 billion expansion plan in the City of Camden to the public on September 19. This investment, the largest in Camden County’s history, will create three new clinical towers with more than 100 new private rooms. These rooms will include new technologies and innovations and broaden education and teaching spaces to attract and retain the best specialists and medical experts.
“This $2 billion investment will increase Cooper’s capacity to deliver high-quality health care in the region and continue being a vital partner in promoting the health and wellbeing of our communities,” said Congressman Norcross in a press release from Cooper.
Standing side by side, Board Chairman George E. Norcross III, co-CEOs Kevin M. O’Dowd, JD, and Anthony J. Mazzarelli, MD, JD, and the Board of Trustees of Cooper University Health Care were joined by Camden County native Kelly Ripa, Governor Phil Murphy, and former Governor Chris Christie at the announcement at Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper.
“Cooper’s commitment to its home community is a model of how corporate leadership can spark imagination and new opportunities that benefit local residents,” Norcross said. “Camden’s transformation from being America’s poorest and most dangerous city to one on the rise is a national model of what cities can achieve with commitment, faith, and hard work.”
A decade ago, when on the cusp of bankruptcy, Camden began to transform into a leading academic health system. Camden has become one of the country’s poorest and most violent cities to its safest in 50 years. Cooper has been a significant component of the change in Camden due to its commitment to helping city residents lead healthy, whole lives.
“Cooper has dreamed big and achieved their dreams of transforming into a leading academic health system in the South Jersey region,” said Ripa. “Having grown up in the area, it’s especially meaningful to be invited to participate in the announcing of Cooper’s latest major investment, this time in Camden, demonstrating their commitment and the power of imagining a bigger and better future for local residents.”
Cooper has been serving and broadening the Camden community in many ways. These include their partnership with the HeroCare Connect program with Deborah Heart and Lung Center, dramatically improving EMS services in the city when it took over the service in 2016, and being a founding member of the Camden Health and Athletic Association (CHAA).
Once Cooper took over EMS, it became the first EMS team in the nation to institute a Suboxone program, done in 2019, to save the lives of residents fighting the opioid crisis. All the while, CHAA has helped more than 1,000 Camden children participate in sporting activities which helps put Camden residents to work, leading them to more medical-oriented jobs.
Additionally, Cooper’s University Hospital has the busiest Level I trauma center in the region, a leading cancer center (MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper), and the only Level II pediatric trauma center in the Deleware Valley (Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper), three urgent cares, and more than 100 outpatient offices across South Jersey.
“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,” Governor Murphy said. “I applaud this new expansion and Cooper’s ongoing work to improve the lives of Camden residents.”
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