Cooper Foundation raises $115K at Center for LGBTQ+ Health’s grand opening in Collingswood

A grand opening celebration for a new, dedicated location for the Center for LGBTQ+ Health at Cooper in Collingswood last week raised $115,000 for LGBTQ+ health initiatives, thanks to the generosity of supporters who share in Cooper University Health Care’s commitment to equitable and inclusive health care for all.

More than 125 supporters joined the Cooper Foundation for the Cooper Proud Celebration, held at the Collingswood Ballroom.

“The opening of the Center for LGBTQ+ Health office in Collingswood signifies Cooper’s unwavering commitment to providing comprehensive, culturally competent care that celebrates the diversity of our patients,” Philip Norcross, chairman of the Cooper Foundation board of trustees, said. “At the Cooper Proud Celebration, guests not only commemorated the opening of our new center, but also contributed to the ongoing efforts to improve health care access and outcomes for LGBTQ+ individuals.”

“By establishing a presence in an LGBTQ+-affirming and -friendly community such as Collingswood, we are better positioned to foster a culture of inclusivity and acceptance, providing a safe and welcoming environment for patients and their families to access the health care they need,” said Dr. Carman Ciervo, chief physician executive of Cooper Care Alliance, one of Cooper’s two physicians groups, and the Cooper Foundation medical director of development.

Dr. Justin Schweitzer, medical director for LGBTQ+ Health at Cooper, said the center helps to break down the barriers faced by the LGBTQ+ community when it comes to health care, including discrimination and accessibility.

“Almost half of the people in this country who identify as LGBTQ+ have experienced some form of health care discrimination, whether intentional or not, and this can be a huge deterrent to seeking preventative and/or life-saving health care,” Schweitzer said. “Cooper’s providers meet the unique needs of the LGBTQ+ community and provide the specialized care they deserve.”

“Cooper University Health Care has been a longstanding advocate for LGBTQ+ health, committed to breaking down barriers and promoting inclusivity within the health care system. We are proud to stand at the forefront of LGBTQ+ health care and champion inclusivity within our community,” Dr. Anthony Mazzarelli, co-CEO of Cooper, said.

“Through initiatives like the Center for LGBTQ+ Health and continued advocacy, Cooper remains dedicated to providing equitable and affirming care for all patients, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity,” Kevin O’Dowd, co-CEO of Cooper, said.

The Center for LGBTQ+ Health at Cooper is conveniently located at 17 W. Knight Ave., Collingswood, and provides health care services for all, including the LGBTQ+ community. Health care services offered include preventative or wellness care, hormone therapy, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to reduce the risk of HIV transmission, and DoxyPEP for STI prevention. The center was established in 2021, and the new Collingswood location is its first dedicated office space.

Lisa Morina, senior vice president and chief philanthropy officer of the Cooper Foundation, emphasized the importance of community support in advancing LGBTQ+ health: “The Cooper Proud Celebration is not only a chance to celebrate progress, but also an opportunity to invest in the future of LGBTQ+ health. Supporting our LGBTQ+ fundraising efforts directly contributes to initiatives that promote health care access, wellness and outcomes for LGBTQ+ individuals.”