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The Bernard and Shirley Brown Charitable Foundation and The Brown Foundation Pledge $5M to Create Endowment

Donation is the largest endowed gift to The Cooper Foundation to date

(CAMDEN, NJ) – The Cooper Foundation has received a $5 million pledge from The Bernard and Shirley Brown Charitable Foundation and The Brown Foundation. The pledge will create The Edward D. Viner, MD, Chief of Medicine Endowment at Cooper University Health Care. This gift represents the largest endowed gift in The Cooper Foundation’s history and establishes Cooper’s first endowed chief.

“The Brown and Koons families have been committed and loyal supporters of Cooper and The Cooper Foundation for many years,” said Philip A. Norcross, Esq., chairman of The Cooper Foundation Board of Trustees. “We are extremely grateful for their desire to honor Dr. Viner and their support of Cooper’s mission to provide the most advanced health care and services to the community.”

“This is one of the most significant gifts in the history of Cooper University Health Care, and we are humbled by the generosity of the Brown and Koons families,” said George E. Norcross III, chairman of the Cooper Board of Trustees. “Gifts like this help Cooper advance health care throughout the region.”

The endowment honors the lifetime dedication and commitment of Dr. Edward Viner, chief emeritus of Cooper’s Department of Medicine. The fund will support the compensation and retention of an exceptional physician in the endowed position who possesses an exemplary record of outstanding performance in teaching, scholarship, research, and service.

“We are grateful to the Brown and Koons families for this significant investment in Cooper’s future. As the leading academic health system in the region, Cooper will use this investment to continue our track record of recruiting and retaining nationally recognized physicians and groundbreaking researchers,” said Kevin O’Dowd, JD, co-CEO of Cooper.

Dr. Viner, who served as chief of medicine from 1987 to 2006, and for whom the Viner Intensive Care Unit at Cooper is named, continues to practice internal medicine. He serves as founding director and senior advisor to the dean at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University.

“Dr. Viner has personally and compassionately provided care to our family over the years, and we are indebted to him for his service to the community and especially to us,” said Anne Koons, a member of the Brown family, a realtor with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach, REALTORS®, and also a member of The Cooper Foundation Board of Trustees“It is our distinct honor to recognize Dr. Viner in this way.”

“We are honored to recognize Dr. Viner for his dedication and commitment to his patients,” said Sid Brown, chief executive officer of National Freight Industries (NFI) and member of the Cooper University Health Care Board of Trustees. “We deeply admire Dr. Viner not only for the excellent care he has provided our family, but also the thousands of other lives he has impacted in the community over the course of his career. Dr. Viner is a visionary clinician and leader who has helped shape the physicians of the future with his role in the establishment of Cooper Medical School of Rowan University.”

“Having received care under Dr. Viner, I find it especially meaningful to establish The Edward D. Viner, MD, Chief of Medicine Endowment at Cooper,” said Jeffrey Brown, president and vice chairman of NFI, who also serves on The Cooper Foundation Board of Trustees. “This gift is a testament to life-saving care Dr. Viner has provided to many people over the years.”

“This is a fitting tribute to one of Cooper’s most-respected physicians and leaders,” said Anthony J. Mazzarelli, MD, JD, MBE, co-CEO of Cooper. “With this first endowed chief in Cooper’s history, Dr. Viner’s legacy will continue through other outstanding physician leaders now and in the future.

The Bernard and Shirley Brown Foundation and The Brown Foundation have been longtime supporters of Cooper University Health Care and have provided funding for the Cooper Learning Center, breast cancer programs at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, summer reading programs for Camden children, and several other initiatives.


About the Cooper Foundation

The Cooper Foundation is the philanthropic, community outreach, and community development arm of Cooper University Health Care. Its overarching purpose is to raise and steward charitable funds to advance Cooper’s mission: to serve, to heal, to educate. The Foundation’s mission also includes support for the City of Camden and has funded numerous charitable organizations, community groups, education initiatives, food donations, job training programs, youth athletic programs, and health fairs, screenings, education, and access initiatives.

About Cooper University Health Care

Cooper University Health Care, with its MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper and affiliation with Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, is a leading academic health system. Cooper has more than 8,900 employees including 1,600 nurses, and more than 850 employed physicians and 450 advanced practice providers. Cooper University Hospital has been recognized as a top-performing regional hospital by U.S. News & World Report’s 2022-2023 Best Hospitals annual survey.

Cooper has revenues of more than $2 billion and has an “A-“ rating from S&P Global Ratings and “A3” rating from Moody’s Investors Service. Cooper University Hospital is the only Level 1 Trauma Center in South Jersey and the busiest in the region.  Nearly two million patients are served annually at Cooper’s 635-bed flagship hospital, outpatient surgery center, three urgent care centers, and more than 100 ambulatory offices throughout the community. Cooper has been named as one of America’s Best Employers by Forbes for two consecutive years.

The Cooper Health Sciences campus in Camden, New Jersey, is home to Cooper University Hospital, MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper, and Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. Visit to learn more.

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