George E. Norcross, III, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Cooper Health System was awarded the 2011 Healthcare System Trustee of the Year by the New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA) today. The NJHA honored Norcross for his long leadership in reshaping a financially troubled institution into one of the top tier academic medical centers in New Jersey. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the Cooper Health System since 1990 and has been the Chairman since 2006.
“I am honored to be the recipient of the 2011 Healthcare System Trustee of the Year Award,” said Mr. Norcross. “With the support of our Board and executive leadership, Cooper has undergone tremendous transformation taking what was once a vision for a truly academic health campus and making it a reality. I am proud of the establishment of the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, which is on target to open in 2012, setting the stage for the next level of medical education in our region.”
Under his leadership, the following major milestones have been achieved:
South Jersey and Camden Health Sciences Campus Expansion
- The Health Sciences Campus now boasts a brand new $220 million patient Pavilion with new expanded emergency department; state-of-the-art 30-bed intensive care unit; 60 private medical/surgical patient care rooms and hotel-like amenities including a family/visitor health resources center, coffee shop, restaurant, healing garden, and historical garden walk.
- His vision encompassed a strategic suburban expansion plan which now includes expanded physician offices in Voorhees, Washington Township, and Willingboro. Cooper also opened a Digestive Health Institute in Mount Laurel.
- The neighborhoods surrounding Cooper University Hospital have been improved through new and revitalized housing enabled by partnerships with Saint Joseph’s Carpenter Society, M&M Development LLC and Habitat for Humanity.
- Three parks have been completely renovated to include the first children’s playground for the neighborhood to enjoy. Concerts in the park have been held over the past two summers for the community’s enjoyment.
- New brick-lined streetscaping and lush landscaping now surround the hospital, improving the overall esthetics of the neighborhoods.
Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
- More than 30-years ago, Cooper had envisioned developing the current two-year academic medical school in Camden into a four-year medical school. In June 2009, due to Norcross’s conviction to progress, two dynamic South Jersey institutions, Cooper and Rowan University, announced plans to establish Cooper Medical School of Rowan University.
- The medical school will attract the best and brightest students from our region, producing a new generation of well-trained, dedicated, and compassionate physicians.
- It will help to address the critical need for physicians locally and nationally and raise the level of health care and medical education throughout the region.
- This symbiotic partnership will fuel vital intellectual and economic growth in the City of Camden and throughout South Jersey.
In 2010, in recognition of his contributions to Cooper, Norcross was named to the “50 Most Powerful People in Health Care in New Jersey” by NJBIZ. In 2006, he was named “Trustee of the Year” by the New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals.
Norcross is a committed supporter of many charitable organizations in the region. He has been a long-time benefactor of the Larc School in New Jersey, a special education school for children with disabilities. He serves as Chairman of the annual Cooper Norcross Run the Bridge, the largest 10K race in the tri-state area. Through the run and other initiatives, Larc School has been able to expand their programs and facility.
Norcross is Chairman of Conner Strong, headquartered in Marlton, New Jersey. Conner Strong ranks among the largest insurance, risk management and employee benefits brokerage and consulting firms in the country, serving clients throughout the United States and abroad. Norcross has been the head of Conner Strong and predecessor companies since 1979.