Cooper Participates in Clinical Trial for Patients With Emphysema

Physicians at Cooper University Health Care are taking part in a clinical trial to test the effectiveness of a less invasive treatment for patients with severe emphysema. Cooper is one of about 24 sites participating in the EMPROVE clinical trial in the United States.

Wissam Abouzgheib, MD, Director, Section of Interventional Pulmonology, Division of Pulmonary Medicine, is leading Cooper’s participation in the EMPROVE trial. The trial will specifically evaluate the safety and efficacy of endobronchial valves – small implantable medical devices – for patients with severe emphysema. Currently, these patients have limited therapeutic options or being evaluated for lung transplant or volume reduction surgery, which removes part of the poorly functioning areas of the lung.

“Emphysema is a disease of the lungs that can make breathing difficult,” explained Dr. Abouzgheib. “Lungs are made up of tiny air sacs that absorb the oxygen in the air we breathe. In patients with emphysema, these air sacs are gradually destroyed, which makes it difficult for air to exit the sacs and allows it to become trapped in the most diseased areas of the lung.” The trapped air is what makes “breathing difficult” and also interferes with the function of the healthier areas of the lung

COPD and Emphysema are serious medical conditions that affect millions and are directly linked to smoking. According to the American Lung Association, COPD/Emphysema is the third leading cause of death in America, claiming the lives of 134,676 Americans in 2010.

About the Trial
Through the EMPROVE trial a valve is placed inside the airways of diseased or hyperinflated parts of the lung and redirects the air to healthier parts of the lung, making it easier for the patient to breathe.
The trial is composed of two randomly chosen groups. The treatment group will have valves placed in the lung and be monitored by a doctor. The control group will not have valves placed in the lung, but will also receive care from a trial doctor for the length of the trial. Using this random control method means that the groups will be similar and that the treatments the patients receive can be compared objectively to determine which treatment is best. The randomization is two patients for the valve group to one patient to the control group, increasing the chances to be chosen to receive the valves

Before a patient can enter the EMPROVE trial, a doctor will review their medical history to determine if they are an appropriate candidate. Not all COPD or emphysema patients will benefit from the procedure and there are some significant risks. Potential benefits and risks will be reviewed with all eligible patients by the trial doctor and a member of the trial support team.

Following the procedure, participants will monitored at one month, three months and six months. In addition, patients in the treatment group will receive annual check-ups for five years, while patients in the control group will receive annual check-ups for two years.

If you are a patient suffering from emphysema and would like to know more about the EMPROVE Clinical Trial, please contact Patricia Niblack 856.968.7269.

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Cooper Opens Its Third Urgent Care Center

urengtcare2Cooper Urgent Care Centers continue to expand their geographic footprint with the opening of a new center in Sicklerville (Winslow Twp.). The center is part of new construction on Cross Keys Road with plenty of retail surrounding it. All three centers are staffed with Emergency Room physicians and have X-ray and laboratory draw capabilities.

Cooper Urgent Care Centers:

500 Cross Keys Road
Sicklerville, NJ 08081
(Winslow Twp.)

2001 Route 70 East
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003

318 S. White Horse Pike
Audubon, NJ 08106

Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 9 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Cherry Hill is open 365 days a year, including 9 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Audubon and Sicklerville are closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

856.874.0134 for all locations.

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Cooper Heart Institute Team Performs TAVR Procedure Using Conscious Sedation

Newest Advance in the Evolution of Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

X-ray cardiovascular systemA team of cardiothoracic surgeons, interventional cardiologists and anesthesiologists at the Cooper Heart Institute recently achieved a medical milestone by performing transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR, under conscious sedation for the first time. Since then, the team has successfully performed several additional cases using this method.

Cooper is one of a few select heart centers in the region to perform TAVR under conscious sedation, rather than general anesthesia — for those patients who qualify. TAVR, a nonsurgical alternative to open-heart surgery, is an advanced method for the treatment of severe aortic stenosis Cooper was one of the first hospitals in the Delaware Valley to offer the TAVR procedure and recently performed its 200th case.

The TAVR procedure involves feeding an artificial valve by catheter through an artery in the groin or the chest to the heart. Once placed in the correct position, the artificial valve is opened and begins to function.

“This is a game changer,” according to Janah Aji, MD, FACC, Director of the Cooper Cardiac Catheterization Lab, who performed the first conscious-sedation TAVR procedure. “Patients with aortic stenosis are generally elderly and have other health conditions that make them too weak to undergo open-heart surgery. Even general anesthesia may be a significant incremental risk in some patients, thus the potential option of sedation is welcome.” Under conscious sedation, the patient is awake and able to communicate with the physicians during the procedure. The lighter anesthesia can mean less recovery time and a shorter hospital stay.

“We are very excited about this newest milestone,” said Perry J. Weinstock, MD, FACC, Director of the Cooper Heart Institute. “Cooper Heart Institute is a regional leader, continually offering new procedures and advances to our comprehensive adult cardiovascular program that includes a wide-range of non-invasive, invasive, and surgical diagnostic and therapeutic options for patients in South Jersey.” 

An age-related disease that affects approximately 300,000 Americans, aortic stenosis causes chest pain or tightness, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath and heart palpitations. The result of calcium deposits in the heart valve that cause it to narrow and stiffen, aortic stenosis makes it hard for the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body. Patients with aortic stenosis and symptoms who do not undergo aortic valve replacement face up to a 50 percent mortality rate at three years from symptom onset. Thus, aortic valve replacement is truly a life-saving procedure.

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Dr. Richard Selznick to Address National Virtual Conference

selznick_2012_06Richard Selznick, PhD, Director of the Cooper Learning Center, is slated to present during the first-ever national online conference focused on dyslexia, happening Friday, December 5, 2014.

“Spotlight on Dyslexia” will educate and inform parents about dyslexia, connect them to leading experts to learn practical information, and expose them to resources that can help their children with dyslexia learn and thrive. The conference is a full-day, live event featuring more than 20 speakers as well as an online “exhibit hall” connecting parents to organizations, products and services to meet their needs.

Learning Ally is a national nonprofit with a defined approach to help support students with learning disabilities and their families.

Parents interested in registering for the December 5 conference should visit

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Cooper Appoints Kevin M. O’Dowd, Esq. to Senior Executive Leadership Team

Kevin O'DowdCooper University Health Care announces the appointment of Kevin M. O’Dowd, Esq. as Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer. O’Dowd, who will work directly with Cooper’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Adrienne Kirby, PhD, brings more than 17 years of executive management and legal experience to Cooper as part of the senior executive management team. Serving in senior leadership and policy-making positions in both state and federal government, O’Dowd has managed large organizations and staffs. O’Dowd’s responsibilities at Cooper will include business and organizational development including the MD Anderson Cooper partnership and the AmeriHealth New Jersey relationship. O’Dowd will also oversee marketing, human resources, compliance oversight and corporate real estate and development. O’Dowd will join Cooper in January 2015.

“Kevin’s proven track record of strong management, development and implementation of strategic plans, as well as improving organization performance and productivity, will make him an invaluable member of Cooper’s senior executive leadership team and the continued growth of the MD Anderson Cooper partnership,” said Dr. Kirby. “His proven track record of leading large organizations will be extremely important as Cooper continues its expansion of programs and services throughout the region.”

Before joining Cooper, O’Dowd served in the Cabinet of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, most recently as Chief of Staff since January 2012. O’Dowd also previously served as Deputy Chief Counsel to Governor Christie. Prior to joining the Christie Administration in 2010, O’Dowd served as the Chief of the Securities and Healthcare Fraud Unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey. During O’Dowd’s seven-year tenure, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, where he prosecuted cases ranging from complex health care, securities and financial fraud, international child pornography distribution, cyber crime and narcotics trafficking. O’Dowd also served as the Chair of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Healthcare Fraud Task Force, which comprised the leading federal and state healthcare fraud investigators and prosecutors in the State of New Jersey.

While at the Department of Justice, O’Dowd earned an impeccable reputation for his work and integrity. O’Dowd was a frequent panelist and speaker on health care fraud and compliance matters. O’Dowd received numerous awards and honors from federal law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and United States Secret Service. O’Dowd was twice awarded the prestigious Integrity Award from the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Award for Excellence from the United States President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency. In 2012, Seton Hall University School of Law presented O’Dowd with the St. Thomas More Medal for his distinguished public service and outstanding contributions to the law and the community.

Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2003, O’Dowd served as Deputy Attorney General for the State of New Jersey. In that position, O’Dowd’s responsibilities included providing legal counsel to the New Jersey Department of Health. O’Dowd also served as Assistant Counsel in the Office of Counsel to the Governor. He received his B.A. from The Catholic University of America and his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law in 1997.

“Over the past decade, Cooper has quickly and dramatically expanded the scope and quality of services it provides, including the recent investment we made in AmeriHealth New Jersey and expanding partnership with MD Anderson Cancer Center,” said George E. Norcross, III, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Cooper. “This year, Cooper University Health Care will surpass $1 billion in revenue. Kevin, with his management experience and leadership skills, is the perfect choice to help us manage and continue this growth. We are all excited that he is joining us and look forward to his leadership and talents to help us provide world-class care to the people of the entire tri-state region.”

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