Cooper University Health Care celebrated 135 years of providing high-quality, care to the residents of Camden and all of southern New Jersey on Aug. 10.
“Over the past 135 years, Cooper’s transformation from a community hospital to a major academic health system has been remarkable with Cooper now serving as South Jersey’s only Level 1 Trauma Center and the region’s leading cancer center, MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper. While today’s Cooper might be unrecognizable to the first doctors and nurses who provided care here, what has remained unchanged is Cooper’s commitment to service, health, and education,” George E. Norcross III, who joined the Board of Trustees of the Cooper Health System and Cooper University Hospital in 1990, following his father’s board service, and became Chairman in 2006 said. “Cooper — yesterday, today and tomorrow — will always be committed to providing the best care, investing in its community, and serving people just as when it was founded 135 years ago.”
It was on August 10, 1887, that Cooper first opened its doors to the Camden community as a 30-bed hospital with eight physicians (four medical doctors, four surgeons), treating seven patients over the first two days. Since those early days, Cooper has grown into a leading academic health system with more than 8,900 employees, 1,600 nurses, and 850 physicians practicing in more than 75 specialties.
“Today is a celebration of all the professionals who have served at Cooper over the last 135 years. Cooper has grown into an elite, nationally recognized academic health system, and this amazing transformation could only have been achieved through the tireless efforts of dedicated and committed team members,” Kevin O’Dowd, co-CEO of Cooper stated. “Today, we simply say thank you to all those who have served on the Cooper team.”
“As a practicing emergency medicine physician, I marvel at the medical progress we’ve seen over the 135 years of Cooper’s existence,” Dr. Anthony Mazzarelli, co-CEO of Cooper said. “One constant, however, has been steadfast devotion of the clinical teams over the years to provide quality and compassionate care to those in need. We’re excited about Cooper’s future and we thank everyone who has come to trust us for their health care needs.”
Cooper’s main campus in the heart of Camden has grown from a single four-story stone building into the expansive Cooper Health Sciences Campus, which encompasses Cooper University Hospital, MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, the Sheridan Pavilion, the Cooper Education and Research Building, 101 Haddon, and Cooper Medical School of Rowan University.
MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper has become a regional leader, allowing New Jersey residents to stay close to home for the most advanced cancer care available. Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper provides expert pediatric care and is the only Level II (highest rating) pediatric trauma center in the Delaware Valley.
Cooper also continues to expand its reach across southern New Jersey with three urgent care centers, an ambulatory surgery center, and more than 105 outpatient offices with major multispecialty hubs in Cherry Hill, Voorhees, Washington Township, and Willingboro. Next year, Cooper will open its largest multispecialty ambulatory center to date in the old Sears building at the Moorestown Mall.
As an anchor institution in the City of Camden and the largest employer in both the City and County of Camden, Cooper also plays an important role in the local economy. In addition to providing for the health care needs of the community, Cooper has invested in housing redevelopment, education, job training, youth athletics, and other community benefit programs throughout the years.
Cooper at a glance today*:
· 663 licensed beds
· 33,364 hospital admissions
· More than 1.9 million patient visits each year
· 73,009 Emergency Department visits
· 49,363 Urgent Care visits
· 406,326 outpatient visits
· 122,045 outpatient and 3,014 inpatient cancer visits at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper
· 27,018 surgical cases
· 4,902 trauma cases
· 7,170 transfers from area hospitals
· $1.8 billion operating revenue.
*figures from year-end 2021.
Today, the Cooper name is synonymous with a full range of health system services, including prevention, primary care, specialty services, all levels of inpatient care, and subacute care. To learn more about Cooper’s rich history, visit https://www.cooperhealth.org/about-us/our-history.