Business, political and community leaders from throughout New Jersey joined Governor Chris Christie on July 24th to celebrate the grand opening of Cooper Medical School of Rowan University’s state-of-the-art educational building on the corner of Broadway and Benson Street in downtown Camden’s Cooper Health Sciences Campus.
“Today’s grand opening of Cooper Medical School represents a significant step forward in higher education for the state of New Jersey,” said Governor Chris Christie. “The establishment of a four-year medical school in Camden is long overdue, and I congratulate The Cooper Health System and Rowan University on this very successful collaboration. Children throughout New Jersey who dream of one day becoming a doctor now have another medical school option, right in their own state.”
The first new medical school in New Jersey in over 35 years, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University is only the third MD-granting school in the state, and the only one based in South Jersey. The opening marked the completion of the school’s building and planning phases, including the construction of the Medical Education Building and the development of its high tech/high touch, mission-driven curriculum. Cooper Medical School will begin training future doctors when its charter class arrives in August.
“This is a historic day, especially for our two parent institutions, The Cooper Health System and Rowan University. I commend the leadership of both institutions, as well as the bi-partisan leadership throughout the state, for their fortitude in working toward a vision of improved educational opportunities, job creation and better health care for the residents of this region,” said Paul Katz, MD, Dean of Cooper Medical School. “Our building is complete and we’ve earned preliminary accreditation from the LCME. But our most important work begins in August, when the 50 members of our charter class walk through these doors.”
“This vision set forth more than 30 years ago has now come to fruition. The medical school will have a dramatic, positive impact on our city, state and region by providing a steady stream of new, highly trained physicians who will deliver compassionate care to future generations,” said George E. Norcross, III, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Cooper.
“Clearly, the medical school will have a great impact on the health and welfare of the region. It also will serve as a strong foundation upon which we will build other education programs, including the much-anticipated College of Health Sciences in Camden,” said Dr. Ali A. Houshmand, President of Rowan University. “This is a proud moment for everyone.”
Cooper Medical School’s charter class consists of 50 students, 74 percent of whom are New Jersey residents. Class size will eventually grow to 100 students, with 400 students in total. They will be trained by more than 450 clinical faculty from Cooper University Hospital, and the medical school’s own team of esteemed biomedical faculty.
Cooper Medical School’s six-story, 200,000 square-foot building cost $139 million, and brought hundreds of jobs to the region. The Camden County Improvement Authority managed the project, which was designed by HDR Inc., with construction management by Joseph Jingoli & Son, Inc. Developed specifically for the CMSRU curriculum, it is filled with spaces and technologies to support faculty and students in their educational process, including a spectacular, 250-seat auditorium where today’s event was held. Other highlights include a 140-seat multipurpose room, 25 Active Learning Rooms, a Learning Commons and satellite medical library, a Clinical Simulation Center, and state-of-the-art laboratory and research space.