News & Stories


Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper Receives $15,000 from the Joyful Gathering Spiritual Center

First row, L-R: Susan Bass Levin, Audrey Muse, Veronica Parker, Rev. Margaret Palagye, Barry Lefkowitz, Fran Lefkowitz, Robyn Harvey, RN; Back row, L-R: Gary E. Stahl, MD, Michael Goodman, MD, Thomas Augustino, and Joanne Fox


The Cooper Foundation of the Cooper Health System announced today a $15,000 donation from the Joyful Gathering Spiritual Center in Haddon Township. The donation will support the Cooper Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper, which treats more than 500 term and premature infants each year with medical and surgical problems.

“On behalf of the entire Cooper NICU staff, I am happy to accept this generous donation from our friends at the Joyful Gathering Spiritual Center,” said Gary E. Stahl, MD, Head, Division of Neonatology and Vice-Chief, Department of Pediatrics at Children’s Regional Hospital. “This gift will ensure that we continue to provide hope and support to the families of our littlest patients.”

In May, the Joyful Gathering Spiritual Center held the Children Are Our Greatest Treasures fundraiser to raise awareness about the needs of NICU patients and the incredible care they require, and to support the efforts of the Cooper NICU. Dr. Stahl also received a humanitarian award to recognize his longstanding commitment to saving the lives of prematurely born babies.

Barry Lefkowitz, event co-chair and President of the Board of Trustees at the Joyful Gathering Spiritual Center, said the congregation decided to hold the event because many members have had infants in their families who were born premature.

Lefkowitz said they decided to donate a portion of the event proceeds to Cooper because of the reputation of its NICU.

“There were a number of things that Veronica Parker (event co-chair) and I witnessed during our visit to the Cooper NICU with Dr. Stahl,” Lefkowitz said. “We saw the dedication and love exhibited by the nurses and we were moved by seeing these little human beings that were so tenderly taken care of and the type of equipment necessary to provide the care for them.”

Reverend Margaret Palagye, Spiritual Director, Joyful Gathering Spiritual Center, said her two grandsons spent three months in a NICU when they were born and she was inspired to host the event because of the miracles that occur in NICU units.

“We thought Cooper should be recognized for its incredible work, care and patient-family centered environment,” said Reverend Margaret Palagye, Spiritual Director, Joyful Gathering Spiritual Center.

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