Cooper University Health Care Board of Trustees Chairman George E. Norcross III has announced that its Three Cooper Plaza building will be renamed The John and Joyce Sheridan Health Center at Three Cooper Plaza in honor of the former president and CEO of the health care system. Mr. Sheridan joined Cooper in 2005 and served as president and CEO of The Cooper Health System from 2008 until his and his wife’s death in 2014.
“John Sheridan left a lasting legacy at Cooper University Health Care and in Camden, a city he worked tirelessly to improve,” said George E. Norcross III, chairman of the Board of Trustees of Cooper University Health Care. “John and his beloved wife, Joyce, loved Cooper, and the Cooper family loved them back. It’s only fitting that they will always be remembered at Cooper University Health Care in this way.”
The John and Joyce Sheridan Health Center is approximately 160,000 square feet in the heart of the Health Sciences Campus in Camden. The Campus was one of the many projects spearheaded by Mr. Sheridan as part of his revitalization efforts in the city. Mr. Sheridan was passionate about serving the Camden community and the building that will bear his and Joyce’s names houses primary care, specialists, and community health physicians that provide care for local residents, and families across the region, averaging more than 100,000 patient visits a year.
Mr. Sheridan joined Cooper in 2005 after a long career in public service and in the law. Prior to joining Cooper, he was a senior partner and co-chairman of the law firm of Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perretti, LLP. He also served in high-level positions in state government, including commissioner of transportation, chairman of the board of the New Jersey Transit Corporation, general counsel to New Jersey Turnpike Authority, deputy attorney general of the state of New Jersey, assistant counsel to Governor William Cahill, and counsel to the New Jersey Senate Minority. He also served as a member of the board of trustees for the Carrier Clinic for 25 years. Joyce Sheridan was a high school social studies teacher who focused on teaching students with difficult lives and who struggled academically.
“John had such a wealth of experience in law, government, and business and he was liked and respected by everyone,” said Adrienne Kirby, PhD, FACHE, president and CEO of Cooper University Health Care. “He strengthened Cooper and expanded its reach to serve many more patients as well as connected with our community to bring the surrounding neighborhoods back to life. John was very special and honoring him and Joyce for all they did for Cooper and Camden is well-deserved.”
Mr. Sheridan played a leading role in many of the biggest initiatives in Cooper’s recent history, particularly the revitalization of the neighborhoods surrounding the hospital, construction of the Roberts Pavilion, and the creation of the Health Science Campus.
In partnership with Norcross, the two men turned the four-decade-old dream of creating a four-year allopathic medical school in South Jersey into reality. Mr. Sheridan called the creation of the medical school “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” and Norcross credits him with devising the strategic framework enabling the state government’s approval of the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. In 2016, the medical school graduated its first class.
One of Mr. Sheridan’s most enduring legacies may be Cooper’s partnership with MD Anderson Cancer Center to create MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper. As early as 2002, Mr. Sheridan urged the creation of a top-rated cancer center at Cooper. He deserves a good deal of the credit for the partnership that brought the nation’s number one cancer center to Camden, Norcross said.
“John had great vision and he was the energy behind so many initiatives that have made Cooper the success it is today,” closed Norcross. “He was a good friend, a mentor, and role model. John Sheridan is truly missed by every member of the Cooper family.”
“Mom and Dad dedicated themselves to making Cooper and Camden better places; Dad through his tireless efforts at Cooper Hospital and Cooper’s Ferry, and Mom through her unending support of him and his work. They were so proud of the success of the hospital and the revitalization of the surrounding community. We want to thank Mr. Norcross, Ms. Kirby and the Board of Trustees of Cooper for recognizing our parents’ contributions to the City of Camden and to this great institution,” the Sheridan family said.