The Cooper Foundation Announces Inaugural Recipients of Linda Brand Scholarship Scholarship program in memory of Cooper’s Linda Brand (1948-2023)

Longtime Cooper team member Linda Brand established a scholarship fund before passing away in 2023.

The Cooper Foundation recently announced the recipients of the inaugural Linda Brand Scholarship, a testament to the enduring legacy of a beloved leader and colleague. The scholarship was established by Linda Brand, assistant vice president for patient access and financial navigation at Cooper University Health Care, who sadly passed away from pancreatic cancer in October 2023.

“Linda was not only a talented leader but a cherished friend to many at Cooper. Her dedication to nurturing talent and empowering others was unparalleled,” said Philip A. Norcross, Esq., chairman of The Cooper Foundation. “Each recipient exemplifies Linda’s spirit of perseverance and dedication to personal and professional growth.”

“Last year, Cooper lost one of its most talented, beloved, and admired leaders,” said Christopher Ault, chief revenue officer at Cooper. “When Linda received her diagnosis, she immediately began planning to ensure that everyone around her would be taken care of.  She was intent on making sure that her family and co-workers were fine. She also wanted the next generation of Cooper team members to be supported as well. Through many conversations, planning, and tears, the Linda Brand Scholarship was born.”

Thanks to the overwhelming support from donors, the Foundation awarded educational scholarships totaling $23,000 to nine outstanding Cooper team members. The recipients, selected from a pool of 85 applicants, demonstrated remarkable ambition and dedication to furthering the Cooper mission.

The recipients for the inaugural round of scholarships are:

  • Daniel Borrero
    Mental Health Technician
  • Nicole Cirelli
    Supervisor Infusion Scheduling and Fast Track Program, MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper
  • Julie Cruz
    Patient Navigator
  • Melanie Flint
    Revenue Cycle Associate, Cardiology
  • Delia Iguina
    Supervisor – Patient Access
  • Latisha Lewis
    Authorization Specialist, Access Business Services
  • Alyssa Nuzzo
    Engagement and Recognition Specialist, Organizational Effectiveness and Learning Department
  • Nyree Oliver
    Medical Coder, Cooper and Inspira Cardiac Care
  • Normali Santiago
    Unit Secretary, Roberts Pavilion 9

Linda Brand Scholarship recipients

Before her passing, Linda shared these words about what inspired the creation of a scholarship fund to support the professional development of Cooper Team members:

“Cooper has been my life for the past 30 years and I’ve met the best people here. Their compassion, commitment and sacrifice to help other people is amazing and inspiring. I started as a manager in the department of pediatrics, and I was able to expand my career and work my way up through Cooper’s tuition reimbursement and continuing education programs,” said Linda. “Cooper has made a difference in my life, and I am passionate about ensuring it makes a difference in the lives of others.”

Lisa Morina, senior vice president and chief philanthropy officer of The Cooper Foundation, reflected on the significance of the scholarship. “Linda’s dream was to open a scholarship fund to support the educational aspirations of Cooper team members pursuing non-clinical roles within the organization. We extend our deepest gratitude to Linda’s family, colleagues, and our community of generous donors whose collective efforts have made Linda’s dream possible.”

The Cooper Foundation congratulates all scholarship recipients and wishes them success in their educational endeavors. For more information or to contribute, please visit

About The Cooper Foundation
The Cooper Foundation serves as the philanthropic, community outreach and community development arm of Cooper University Health Care, one of the largest health systems in southern New Jersey with over 100 outpatient offices and its flagship Cooper University Hospital located in Camden, N.J.
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