Cooper Health officially acquires South Jersey health system, renames Cape Regional flagship hospital

The deal between the two South Jersey health systems follows a spate of recent hospital mergers and acquisitions in the region.

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Cooper Hospital

Cooper Hospital in Camden, N.J. (Kristen Mosbrucker-Garza/WHYY)

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A merger between two South Jersey health care systems has reached its final step this week after a year and a half of negotiations and regulatory reviews.

As of Monday, Cape Regional Health System, a main health care organization serving Cape May and Atlantic counties, has officially joined Camden-based Cooper University Health Care.

The coastal health system’s 213-bed flagship hospital, Cape Regional Medical Center in Cape May Court House, has been renamed Cooper University Hospital Cape Regional.

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In a statement, Garry Gilbert, former chairman of the Cape Regional Board of Trustees, called the moment a “new chapter for health care” in the region and said the combined systems will be able “to serve even more people.”

Christine Winn, senior vice president and chief regional officer at Cooper, will oversee the health system’s operations in Cape May and Atlantic counties.

“The entire Cooper team is looking forward to collaborating with our new team members in Cape May County to enhance access to the highest levels of care and enrich the health care experience for the people of Cape May and Atlantic counties,” she said in a press release.

In addition to Cape Regional’s hospital, which includes a cancer and surgery center, Cooper also acquired the system’s three urgent care centers, several outpatient primary and specialty care offices and other health services in the area.

Leaders at the two health care systems initially announced the acquisition plans in December 2022. Final details were approved earlier this year by the New Jersey Superior Court of Cape May County.

In 2022 and 2023, Cape Regional experienced operating losses of $10 million and $14.7 million, respectively, according to annual financial reports.

Cooper University Health Care, which has maintained a yearly operating profit, is an academic teaching system that includes a Level 1 trauma center, a pediatric hospital, the MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, and a partnership with Rowan University.

The deal between the two South Jersey health systems follows a spate of recent hospital mergers and acquisitions in the region.

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