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Cooper University Health Care embarks on $2 billion expansion

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | September 22, 2022
Business Affairs
Cooper University Health Care is investing $2 billion over the next decade to add three new buildings and increase its bed count on its Camden campus.
Cooper University Health Care, in New Jersey, will expand the footprint of its Camden campus over the next decade as part of a $2 billion project that is expected to boost the city’s economy.

The health system is adding three new buildings to its teaching hospital and biomedical research facility, known formally as Cooper University Hospital, creating more than 100 new private rooms and bringing its bed total to 745, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The new buildings are expected to heighten competition in South Jersey healthcare. The first will be dedicated to clinical care and education, and construction on it will begin in 2023. The cost for this and the other two buildings was not disclosed by Cooper Health.

"Not only does this announcement represent the culmination of Cooper’s amazing turnaround since it faced bankruptcy at the turn of the century, but it is also a sign of our commitment to and faith in Camden, its residents, and our shared future," Cooper chairman George Norcross III told The Inquirer.

The buildings are Cooper University Hospital’s most recent expansion in over a decade since the opening of the $220 million Roberts Pavilion in 2008. The hospital is using its cash reserves, grants and additional debt to pay for the buildings.

It recently spent $3.5 billion on other Camden development projects that were made possible, in part, due to controversial state tax incentives.

Caring for patients since 1887, the hospital records more than 30,000 inpatient visits, over 1.6 million outpatient visits and more than 85,000 emergency department visits annually. A large portion of its patients are low-income with low-paying Medicaid insurance. While other healthcare systems in the area are struggling financially, Cooper profits from its advanced cardiology and cancer care specialties.

As of 2021, its operating profit was $159.6 million out of $1.8 billion in revenue, and by the end of June 2022, it had $858 million in cash relative to its $270 million in long-term debt.

The hospital employs 8,575 people, including over 800 physicians, and operates over 100 outpatient care, ambulatory surgery and urgent care centers throughout South Jersey along with the MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, which opened in 2013.

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