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Officials Hail Completion of Merger of Cape Regional, Cooper Health Care Systems

Officials Hail Completion of Merger of Cape Regional, Cooper Health Care Systems

By Vince Conti

Cooper University Hospital Cape Regional sports new signage following the completion of the merger between the two health-care systems.
Vince Conti
Cooper University Hospital Cape Regional sports new signage following the completion of the merger between the two health-care systems.

COURT HOUSE – Cape Regional Health System is now officially part of Cooper University Health Care. After a year seeking regulatory approval, the merger is complete, and the hospital in the heart of Cape May Court House sports new signage declaring it to be Cooper University Hospital Cape Regional.

Joanne Carrocino, chief executive officer of Cooper University Health Cape Regional, said, “The future of health care is very bright for the residents and visitors of Cape May County as a result of this merger.”

Garry Gilbert, former chairman of the Cape Regional Health System board of trustees, called the merger “an exciting new beginning where we will be able to serve even more people.”

In December 2022 the two health-care systems announced their intent to merge. Following the pandemic, Cape Regional saw a need for a partner: The difficulties of being a small, independent hospital and health system in the modern health-care environment had been exacerbated by the crisis.

Cape Regional Health System operated Cape May County’s only acute-care hospital and struggled to provide a full range of services as an independent system. The county presents a unique challenge, as its population expands from under 100,000 to more than 1 million on a seasonal basis.

The relationship with Cooper is not new for Cape Regional. For several years Cooper has staffed Cape Regional’s intensive care unit with fellowship-trained physicians. Cooper has also provided tele-ICU, tele-stroke and tele-neurology services that have enhanced the quality of care at Cape Regional.

Cooper is the region’s leading academic health-care system with its M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper and the region’s only Level 1 trauma center, per a release issued by Cooper. With more than $2 billion in annual revenue, Cooper brings considerable resources to the union.

Cape Regional Health System earned the Gold Seal of Approval from the Joint Commission and has an integrated health-care delivery system in place in the county. The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit accrediting organization.

George E. Norcross III, chairman of Cooper University Health Care’s board of trustees, said, “This agreement will transform health care for the residents and visitors of Cape May and Atlantic counties.”

Dr. Anthony Mazzarelli, co-CEO of Cooper University Health Care, said, “We are happy to have brought this vision to reality. We look forward to working with our new colleagues to build upon their tremendous work and provide the highest quality of primary and specialty care to the residents and visitors at the Shore.”

Middle Township Mayor Christopher Leusner called the completion of the merger a “significant milestone,” adding that it “ensures our residents will have access to exceptional health-care services and specialists.” Middle Township is the host municipality for the Cooper University Hospital Cape Regional facility.

The combined health system brings together two hospitals with more than 900 beds, 130 ambulatory sites and almost 11,000 employees, including more than 1,000 employed physicians. Revenue is projected to exceed $2.2 billion a year.

Contact the reporter, Vince Conti, at vconti@cmcherald.com.

Reporter

Vince Conti is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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