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Cooper Health System and Cancer Center Announce $2B Expansion Plans

Analysis  |  By Melanie Blackman  
   September 21, 2022

The investment into the Camden, New Jersey-based health system's campus aims to meet current and future demand growth.

Cooper University Health Care and MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper announced earlier this week that the Camden, New Jersey campus will receive a $2 billion "revitalization and expansion."

According to the health system, this is the largest investment announced in Camden County, New Jersey's history. Plans include constructing three new clinical towers, which would add more than 100 private patient rooms; environmentally sustainable facilities with new technology and innovations; and the expansion of education and teaching space for South Jersey's only academic health system.

The expansion, according to, could take up to a decade to complete.

George E. Norcross III, who serves as board chairman, the system's co-CEOs Kevin M. O'Dowd, JD, and Anthony J. Mazzarelli, MD, JD, MBE, and the board of trustees were joined by current New Jersey governor Phil Murphy and former state governor Chris Christie, in announcing the expansion plans to the historically underserved city.

"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," Norcross said in a statement. "Camden's transformation from being America’s poorest and most dangerous city to one on the rise is a national model of what cities can achieve with commitment, faith, and hard work.

According to a press release, through an "unprecedented" partnership between government, business, non-profit organizations, and religious leaders, the city has "transformed from the country’s poorest and most violent city into a place that then-President Barack Obama in 2015 said was 'a symbol of promise for the nation.'"

The health system's co-CEOs also shared statements about the announcement.

"This expansion will give our dedicated professionals the resources, innovation, and flexibility to continue to serve, heal, and educate our community, and allow us to further recruit top-notch talent," Mazzarelli said.

"Cooper has grown into an elite, nationally recognized academic health system, and this amazing transformation could only have been achieved through the tireless effort of dedicated and committed team members," O'Dowd said.

Recently, the health system was named one of America's Best-in-State Employers by Forbes and was only one of seven New Jersey health systems to make the list in 2022.

Melanie Blackman is a contributing editor for strategy, marketing, and human resources at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.

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