Cooper University Health Care Names Emergency Medical Technician Barry Hunter “Armed Forces Person of the Year”

Cooper University Health Care co-CEO Kevin O’Dowd, JD, (left) introduces EMT Barry Hunter as Armed Forces Person of the Year.

Cooper University Health Care has named Barry Hunter, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, its 2023 Cooper Armed Services Person of the Year. Hunter, an emergency medical technician, has been a team member of Cooper EMS Services for eight years.

In addition to his expertise and compassion providing care as a first responder in the City of Camden, Hunter is involved in many community outreach activities, including health education, career mentorship programs, neighborhood clean-up events in Camden, and coordinating the Cooper EMS Services Adopt-A-Family program every holiday season.

In 2018, Hunter’s compassion and generosity was demonstrated in the wake of a devastating fire in North Camden.  In his role as an EMT, Hunter was on the scene and witnessed the devastation firsthand. More than 20 residents, many of them children, were left homeless due to the fire. In less than a week, Hunter helped to coordinate a campaign to provide for the families, collecting food, clothing, toiletries, and toys for the children. On the Saturday before Christmas, he arranged for a caravan of Cooper emergency vehicles to drive to the temporary homes of the displaced residents to provide them with the donated gifts to make their holidays brighter during that difficult time.

“Barry has demonstrated his selflessness and exceptional character by going above and beyond in everything he does. From serving our nation to serving the residents of Camden, Barry’s commitment to others makes him a very deserving recipient of Cooper’s Armed Services Person of the Year for 2023,” said Kevin O’Dowd, JD, co-CEO of Cooper.

“Serving others has been at the center of Barry’s life. He is well-deserving of this year’s Armed Services Person of the Year Award. We are fortunate to have a team member as outstanding as Barry at Cooper,” said Anthony J. Mazzarelli, MD, JD, MBE, co-CEO of Cooper.

The Cooper Armed Services Person of the Year Award was established in 2018 and is presented near Veterans Day each year. The award recognizes a Cooper team member who is nominated by their colleagues and who has made outstanding contributions to the health system, the community, and the nation in support of Cooper’s mission: To serve, to heal, to educate.

Cooper is the leading academic health system and the only Level I Trauma Center for all of southern New Jersey. As the busiest trauma center in the region, Cooper is the only hospital in the United States that has trained elite medical providers from every military branch; multiple local, state, and federal government agencies; and international partners through its military training program.

In 2021, Lieutenant General R. Scott Dingle, The U.S. Army Surgeon General and Commanding General, U.S. Army Medical Command, visited Cooper and said: “Everyone said we had to come to Cooper because Cooper is the best, and that Cooper is setting the pace. Thank you for your support for the United States Army and the armed forces. You all are generating readiness for the soldiers who are saving lives in combat.”

For more information about how Cooper is committed to serving those who have served our country, visit

Kevin O’Dowd (left) and members of the Cooper EMS team congratulate Barry on his honor.

Barry’s family and friends join him in celebration.



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