Cooper University Health, Cape Regional set to join forces

Matthew Fazelpoor//December 14, 2022//

Cooper University Health, Cape Regional set to join forces

Matthew Fazelpoor//December 14, 2022//

Listen to this article

Cooper University Health Care and Cape Regional Health System signed a Letter of Intent to merge, that, when complete, will expand access to specialty health services to residents and visitors of Cape May County.

The Dec. 14 announcement is the latest in a series of positive developments for Cooper – a recent entrant on NJBIZ’s 2022 Companies to Watch – including a credit upgrade and a massive $2 billion expansion planned for its Camden campus.

“For more than 135 years, Cooper has continued to expand its reach to provide advanced health care to the people of South Jersey,” said George Norcross, chairman of Cooper University Health Care’s board of trustees. “This merger of two trusted health care organizations will benefit tens of thousands of residents and visitors to Cape May County and strengthen the overall health care system in South Jersey.”

Cape Regional, an integrated health care delivery system serving residents throughout Cape May County, has earned the Gold Seal of Approval form the Joint Commission.

“As it becomes more and more challenging for smaller health systems to operate independently, merging with Cooper made the most sense as we share the same commitment to the communities we serve and to provide the highest quality care to our patients,” said Garry Gilbert, chairman, Cape Regional Health System board of trustees.

“Cape Regional and Cooper have had a strong working relationship for many years as Cooper has staffed our Intensive Care Unit with fellowship-trained intensivist physicians as well as provided tele-ICU, tele-stroke, and tele-neurology services that have truly enhanced the quality of care for our community,” said Joanne Carrocino, president and CEO of Cape Regional Health System.

The Cooper Foundation's 12th annual Red Hot Gal
Cooper leadership Dr. Anthony Mazzarelli, George Norcross, Phil Norcross and Kevin O’Dowd attend The Cooper Foundation’s 12th annual Red Hot Gala in Camden. – COOPER UNIVERSITY HEALTH CARE

The combined health system will boast:

  • Two hospitals with more than 900 licensed beds
  • Revenue exceeding $2.2 billion annually
  • More than 10,000 members
  • More than 900 employed physicians in three physician groups
  • More than 450 Advanced Practice Providers
  • 130-plus ambulatory locations across eight counties
  • Six urgent care centers

“Cooper is incredibly honored to be given an opportunity to partner with the nearly 1,500 Cape Regional team members who have built a distinguished health system of high-quality clinical outcomes and commitment to their community,” said Kevin O’Dowd, co-CEO of Cooper. “We look forward to working with our future colleagues at Cape Regional to build upon this tremendous legacy of service to residents of the Cape May region.”

“By expanding our current working relations with the Cape Regional team, we will be able to bring additional advanced cancer and specialty health care services to local residents close to where they live,” said Dr. Anthony Mazzarelli, co-CEO of Cooper.

In a statement, the two systems note that the signing of the Letter of Intent is the first step in a lengthy process. Cooper and Cape Regional plan to work toward signing a Definitive Agreement in March 2023, followed by seeking regulatory approval for the merger, which could take until the first quarter of 2024.