New Cooper Transfer Center Streamlines Access to Advanced Care

Cooper University Hospital has established a new and innovative system called the Cooper Transfer Center to meet the growing demand in southern New Jersey for specialized acute care, and advanced transfer coordination for critically ill patients in community hospital settings. This new transfer center provides a single point of contact with round-the-clock access for the transport of acutely ill adult patients — with one call to 1-855.CUH.XFER (1.855.284.9337).


The new Cooper Transfer Center is comprised of five, core, adult disciplines: Critical Care, Post-Cardiac Arrest Resuscitation, Cardiology/Cardiac Surgery, Vascular/Aortic Surgery, Neurosurgery/Emergent Neurology


Providing advanced care for the most critically ill patients remains a priority at Cooper. Six diagnoses are currently accepted for immediate transfer, regardless of bed availability. They are:

  • Acute coronary syndrome/acute MI transferred for emergent catheterization.
  • Acute or symptomatic aortic aneurysm or dissection.
  • Cerebral hemorrhage (not sub-arachnoid).
  • Neurosurgical emergencies and acute onset brain tumor.
  • Stroke requiring thrombolytic therapy.
  • Post-cardiac arrest for hypothermia.


As the only comprehensive tertiary care center in southern New Jersey, Cooper’s new transfer center provides:

Round-the-Clock Transfer Coordination: Skilled, experienced transfer nurse coordinators staff the Cooper Transfer Center 24/7/365, providing immediate access to air or land transfer coordination. This coordination includes ensuring bed availability, and providing patient clinical status updates.

Immediate Physician-to-Physician Consultation: Coordination of patient transfer and physician-to-physician consultation will occur simultaneously. In addition to transfer coordination, the nurse coordinators also will facilitate identification of a receiving specialist, if requested by the referring physician.

Access to the Most Advanced Care and Physician Experts: The streamlined transfer process provides more rapid access to advanced diagnostic/therapeutic interventions and physician experts, an advantage that enhances patient outcomes.


“In the care of critically ill patients, rapid access to advanced care has become the defining criteria for transfer to a tertiary care hospital,” says Joseph E. Parrillo, MD, Chief of the Department of Medicine at Cooper University Hospital. “Cooper has a long tradition of receiving patients transferred from South Jersey community hospitals for the specialized care and clinical expertise found at Cooper.”

A pioneer in transfer services, Cooper became a Level I Trauma Center in 1982, and has maintained a robust neonatal and high-risk OB transfer program for decades. In 2002, a novel adult critical care transfer program, the Cooper Transfer System (COTS), was established to provide a formalized transfer system for seriously ill patients and, since then, has transported more than 12,000 critically ill cardiac, neurological, pulmonary and vascular patients from 23 area hospitals.

“The Cooper Transfer Center concept was developed as a refinement of the successful COTS program,” says Dr. Parrillo. “The new Cooper Transfer Center will provide advanced patient transfer logistics that will enhance the speed of transfers and facilitate physician-to-physician communication.”


Cooper Critical Care, the premier critical care program in the Delaware Valley, under the direction of R. Phillip Dellinger, MD, offers access to:

  • 24/7 critical care trained physicians at the bedside.
  • State-of-the-art, 30-bed medical/surgical intensive care unit with a dedicated, unit-based, infectious disease specialist, clinical pharmacologists, respiratory therapists, and nurses.
  • Highly specialized treatment of acute respiratory failure including: high-frequency oscillatory ventilation, extra corporeal membrane oxygenation, prone position, and airway pressure release ventilation.
  • Sepsis and shock care administered by internationally known physician specialists, as well as access to novel sepsis research protocols.
  • Advanced post-cardiac arrest and resuscitation services.


Under the direction of Stephen W. Trzeciak, MD, the Cooper Resuscitation Center was established to provide a coordinated, scientific approach to post-cardiac arrest care, including automatic Level I acceptance of all transfer patients, and round-the-clock access to cutting-edge therapeutic modalities. Therapeutic hypothermia has become the gold standard of care in the treatment of anoxic brain injury in post-cardiac arrest patients who remain comatose after the return of spontaneous circulation. Cooper University Hospital has initiated the therapy more than 150 times, more than any institution in the region.


Combining interventional services, under the direction of Janah Aji, MD, and cardiothoracic surgical services, under the leadership of Michael Rosenbloom, MD, FACS, FACC, the Cooper Heart Institute offers unmatched emergent and complex cardiac care in southern New Jersey. The advanced services provided by the Heart Institute include:

  • Six dedicated catheterization laboratories performing emergent percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) 24/7 for performing rapid revascularization of ST elevation myocardial infarctions (STEMI’s).
  • Door-to-balloon times four times faster than the national average.
  • Area leader in minimal-access mitral valve repair and treatment of proximal aortic dissection.
  • Onsite, 24/7 cardiac surgery with highest percentage of beating heart/off-pump approach in region.

Cooper is part of the LifeNet Management System, electronically connecting EMS personnel on the scene of a heart attack with Cooper’s emergency department and catheterization laboratory. EMS can transmit a 12-lead ECG via wireless modem to the Cooper emergency personnel and cardiologists for rapid confirmation of MI and mobilization of staff for emergent PCI.


Under the direction of Joseph V. Lombardi, MD, FACS, Head, Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, the Cooper Aortic Center provides southern New Jersey 24/7 surgical repair for a wide array of vascular emergencies, including: Type A and B aortic dissections; and arch, abdominal, thoracic and iliac aneurysms.

All aortic emergencies are accepted at an automatic, Level I status. Patients are treated in Cooper’s new hybrid operating suite with specialized staff trained in aortic catastrophes. They also have unique access to the latest in innovative device clinical trials.


Under the direction of H. Warren Goldman, MD, PhD, the Cooper Neurological Institute (CNI) provides emergent care for cerebral hemorrhage and other neurosurgical emergencies.

The CNI offers the region’s most advanced neuro-operating suites, specifically tailored to perform complex cranial and spinal procedures. The state-of-the-art technology includes intra-operative large-bore CT, surgical navigation integration for precise images and real-time viewing, and intra-operative video display.


Plans are underway to implement the new Cooper Transfer Center in stages. As adult critical care transfer services are successfully integrated into the Cooper Transfer Center, additional adult programs and pediatric services will be added. The long-term goal is to provide a single point of contact for all transfers to Cooper.


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