Cooper Health plans to invest $2 billion in a project that system leaders have said will dramatically transform its campus in Camden, New Jersey.
Leaders said the project will help meet current and projected demand for Cooper University Hospital and MD Anderson Cancer Center in Cooper. The project includes the construction of three new towers with a capacity of 100 patient rooms. It will also add more teaching space.
The system said the project would modernize the campus and help attract top doctors to Cooper. Cooper also said the project would be environmentally sustainable.
Kevin O’Dowd, Cooper’s co-CEO, described the project as the culmination of years of efforts to reshape the health system.
“Cooper has grown into a premier, nationally recognized academic health system, and this amazing transformation has only been possible through the tireless effort of our dedicated and committed team members,” said O’Dowd. “Today, we thank you all who have served on the Cooper team for making this important announcement that will advance our role in the community for many decades to come.”
Cooper has evolved in recent years, particularly with the addition of the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Cooper, along with Rowan University’s Cooper Medical School.
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While promoting the project’s benefits to the health system, Cooper also said it would help in the decades-long effort to revitalize Camden City, long one of America’s most unstable and impoverished cities.
In recent years, Camden has made remarkable strides in improving safety and attracting more companies to set up shop in the small town along the Delaware River, across from Philadelphia. Cooper described Camden as the safest in 50 years.
While Cooper serves a large number of patients in Medicaid due to their lower income, the health system has performed better than some other providers due to its advanced cancer and heart disease care services, Philadelphia Inquirer mentioned. At the end of June, Cooper had $858 million in cash, compared to $270 million in long-term debt. inquirer mentioned.
Like Camden City, Cooper has had his share of trouble since not too long ago. At one point in 1999, the system was just weeks away from losing payroll.
Cooper, like Camden, has evolved in recent years, particularly with the addition of the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Cooper, along with Rowan University’s Cooper Medical School.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and other local leaders attended an event to announce the project on Monday.
“Camden has undergone a dramatic transformation in recent years as many state and local partners have worked together to improve the city, and Cooper has been instrumental in these efforts,” Murphy said in a statement..
“By supporting public safety, educational opportunities, job creation as well as providing quality medical care, Cooper has taken a holistic and purposeful approach to promoting the health of the community it serves.”
Live with Kelly and Ryan host Kelly Ripa sent a video message for the opening. Ripa is a Camden County native and has been featured in advertisements for the health system for years.
“I know one thing about the people in this city and Camden County,” she said in the video. “We like to dream big.”
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