Two southern New Jersey health systems — Cooper University Health Care and Cape Regional Health System — have announced plans to merge.
Cooper, which includes the MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, is based in the City of Camden and is southern New Jersey’s only academic health system and Level I trauma center with $2 billion in revenue. Cape Regional Health System is an integrated healthcare delivery system serving the residents throughout Cape May County.
“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 providing the highest quality care to our patients,” said Garry Gilbert, chairman of the Cape Regional Health System Board of Trustees, in a statement.
In a statement, Joanne Carrocino, president & CEO of Cape Regional Health System, explained that Cape Regional and Cooper have had a strong working relationship for many years. “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.”
The combined health system will have:
- Two hospitals with more than 900 licensed beds
- Revenue exceeding $2.2 billion annually
- More than 10,000 employees
- More than 900 employed physicians in three physician groups
- 130+ ambulatory locations across 8 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, in a statement. “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 relationship with the Cape Regional team, we will be able to bring additional advanced cancer and specialty healthcare services to local residents close to where they live,” said Dr. Anthony Mazzarelli, co-CEO of Cooper, in a statement.
The signing of a Letter of Intent is the first step in a lengthy process. Cooper and Cape Regional will be working toward signing a Definitive Agreement in March 2023. Thereafter, the health systems will seek regulatory approval for the merger, which could take until the first quarter of 2024.