News & Stories

Gala Chairs’ Hearts Beat for Cooper

L-R: John Sheridan, Dr. Michael Rosenbloom, Sal Paolantonio, Linda Rohrer, Dr. Perry Weinstock, Steve Ravitz, Philip Norcross, Susan Bass Levin and Dr. Harvey Snyder

The Red Hot Heart Gala chairs represent a variety of professions, from executive leaders and a national correspondent to physicians and medical directors, but they all share a connection to the Cooper Heart Institute.

Visionary Co-Chairs

The Visionary Co-Chairs are Linda M. Rohrer, President of Rohrer & Sayers Real Estate, Sal Paolantonio, National Correspondent of ESPN, and Steve Ravitz, President of Supermarkets of Cherry Hill.

Linda Rohrer has had a lifelong relationship with Cooper University Health Care – starting with being born at the hospital.

The daughter of the late William G. Rohrer – a former member of the Cooper Board of Trustees and Mayor of Haddon Township for 36 years – Linda is proud to serve as a Visionary Co-Chair of the Cooper Red Hot Heart Gala.

“My father would have wanted me to be involved,” said Linda, who also served on the Cooper Board. “I’m really doing this for him.”

The Rohrer family has always had a special place in their heart for Cooper, and William Rohrer, who suffered from congestive heart failure, refused to go anywhere else for medical care.

“He would have mini-strokes, and the only place he would ever go was Cooper,” Linda said.

In addition to her involvement with the Cooper Foundation, Linda is chair of the Board of Trustees of Rowan University. She is president of Rohrer and Sayers Real Estate in Haddon Township, Vice Chair of the Camden County Improvement Authority, a member of the Haddon Township Planning Board and chair of 1st Colonial National Bank of Collingswood.

Linda lives in her native Haddon Township and is committed to keeping her father’s legacy of improving the prosperity of southern New Jersey alive. She said the decision to serve as Visionary Co-Chair of the Gala came from her heart.

“I thought of my father, his ties to Cooper and our love for Cooper,” Linda said. “I listened to my heart.”

As a member of the Cooper Foundation Board of Trustees, Sal Paolantonio is very pleased to be a Visionary Co-Chair for the Cooper Red Hot Heart Gala.

It’s his way of giving back after Cooper doctors saved his daughter from a subdural hematoma and helped his wife beat cancer.

“Cooper does an outstanding job,” Sal said. “They provided wonderful care for my wife and daughter. I will always be grateful”

A national correspondent for ESPN, covering the NFL, Sal knows what it takes to compete on a national level each and every day. That’s what attracts him to Cooper. “Cooper is not afraid to compete, hiring the best doctors, offering the most advanced technology and continuing to expand its facilities,” said Sal.

Sal also admires the way Cooper “thinks big” in its vision for Camden and the South Jersey region.

“I would venture to say there aren’t too many hospitals in America that are building in urban centers,” said Sal. “But these investments are needed not only for Camden, but also for the health of our region.”

Prior to joining ESPN in 1995, Sal was a sportswriter and national political correspondent at The Philadelphia Inquirer. He is the author of three books, a six-time Emmy award winner and a contributor to World News Tonight and Good Morning America on ABC-TV. He is a retired U.S. Navy officer. Sal and his wife, Lynn, live in Moorestown. They have three grown daughters.

“This is my second year of being involved with the Gala, and I am happy to play a bigger part this year,” Sal said. “I want to be involved every year. To me, the more the hospital can expand, the more the hospital can compete, the more the hospital can provide first rate service to a wide range of people, I want to be involved in a big way.”

When doctors told Steve Ravitz his heart was 80 percent blocked and he also had a bad valve, he was stunned.

“I had no symptoms,” said Steve, Visionary Co-Chair of the Cooper Red Hot Heart Gala. “I went in for a physical and failed a stress test miserably.”

If the long-time Cherry Hill resident and businessman was going to survive, he needed a triple bypass and his aortic valve replaced — immediately.

That’s when he turned to his good friend Susan Bass Levin, President and CEO of the Cooper Foundation.

Levin introduced him to Drs. Michael Rosenbloom and Perry Weinstock at the Cooper Heart Institute, where he underwent surgery less than 24 hours later.

“It was at the same time an awful experience and the best experience,” Steve said. “If it wasn’t for Susan and the medical team at Cooper, I wouldn¹t be here today.”

At age 66, Ravitz is President of Supermarkets of Cherry Hill, which owns and operates five ShopRite stores in South Jersey.

He is also an Executive Officer on the Board of Directors for Wakefern Food Corporation, President of the Ravitz Family Foundation and serves on the Board of Directors for the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey.

After undergoing heart surgery, Steve has a new perspective on life.

“Life is very unpredictable and very, very fragile,” he said. “We should all do the best we can to eat properly and exercise.

“I have five children and seven grandchildren, and I have a lot more living to do,” Ravitz said. “Cooper saved my life.”

Honorary Chairs

The Honorary Co-Chairs are Perry. J. Weinstock, MD, FACC, Michael Rosenbloom, MD, and Harvey A. Snyder, MD, FACC.

Dr. Perry Weinstock is the director of the Cooper Heart Institute, head of the division of Cardiovascular Disease, director of Clinical Cardiology, and deputy chief of the Department of Medicine at Cooper University Hospital. Dr. Weinstock is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. He is board-certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease and clinical lipidology and has clinical interests in preventive cardiology and he is a Diplomate of the American Board of Clinical Lipidology, Fellow of the National Lipid Association and President of the Northeast Lipid Association. Dr. Weinstock serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Clinical Lipidology and is also a reviewer for the American Journal of Cardiology and the Journal of Critical Care Medicine.

Dr. Weinstock is an award-winning clinician recognized regionally and nationally for his abilities. He has been repeatedly named a Top Doc in every major publication in the region including Philadelphia Magazine, New Jersey Monthly Magazine, South Jersey Magazine and SJ Magazine. In addition, he has been recognized among the “Best Doctors” in America. Dr. Weinstock lectures on dyslipidemia and coronary artery disease risk reduction throughout the United States and Canada.

Dr. Michael Rosenbloom is co-director of the Cooper Heart Institute, division head of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Cooper. Dr. Rosenbloom is an Associate Professor of Surgery at the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. He is board-certified in thoracic surgery.

A leading surgeon in the cardiac surgery field, Dr. Rosenbloom is an expert in minimally invasive cardiac surgery and mitral valve repair, rather than replacement. The demand for mitral valve repair, a complex and delicate technique, is increasing as more patients opt for surgical procedures that do not require a life-long regime of blood-thinning medication.

Dr. Rosenbloom is a widely published leader who trained with several pioneers in American cardiac surgery; Dr. Frank Spencer at New York University, and Dr. James Cox at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis. He is among the new generation of cardiovascular surgeons, a technically superior clinician who embraces cutting-edge technologies, devices and advancement. Dr. Rosenbloom leads a cardiovascular team that has reached a number of surgical milestones including the receipt of a 3-Star Rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the highest possible rating, three years in a row.

Dr. Harvey Snyder is an Attending Physician in the Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, at Cooper University Hospital, with a teaching appointment at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. Dr. Snyder is also in private practice as a founding member of The Heart House (Cardiovascular Associates of the Delaware Valley). Dr. Snyder is a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine; a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine/Cardiovascular Disease and Interventional Cardiology; and a member of the American College of Physicians and American Medical Association.

Recently, Dr. Snyder and his team at CADV joined with the Cooper Heart Institute team in the initial launch of the Sapien Percutaneous Heart Valve for the treatment of aortic stenosis and aortic valve disease– the first site in South Jersey. To date, the Cooper Heart Institute team and CADV lead the way having performed more of this life-saving procedure than any other hospital in New Jersey.

Leadership Circle

In addition, the following Cooper physicians are serving on the Red Hot Heart Gala’s Leadership Circle.

Jeffrey P. Carpenter, MD, is Chairman and Chief of the Department of Surgery and Vice President of Perioperative Services. Dr. Carpenter is Professor of Surgery at the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. He is board certified in surgery and vascular surgery.

R. Phillip Dellinger, MD, FCCM, FCCP, is Interim Chair and Chief of the Department of Medicine and Head of the Division of Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Dellinger is a Professor of Medicine at the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. He is board certified in pulmonary diseases, critical care Medicine and internal medicine.

Janah Aji, MD, FACC, is Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab and a Clinical Cardiologist. Dr. Aji is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. He is board certified in cardiovascular disease, internal medicine and interventional cardiology.

Frank W. Bowen, III, MD, is Director of Thoracic Aortic Surgery and Thoracic Oncology, Associate Director of the Cooper Aortic Center and Thoracic Surgical Director of the Cooper Cancer Institute Lung Cancer Center. Dr. Bowen is Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University and Medical Student Mentor/Supervisor of Cardiothoracic Surgery. He is board certified in surgery and thoracic surgery.

Kathleen M. Heintz, DO, FACC, is Director of the Women’s Heart Program and a Clinical Cardiologist. Dr. Heintz is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. She is board certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease.

Richard Y. Highbloom, MD, FACS, is a Cardiothoracic Surgeon at the Cooper Heart Institute. Dr. Highbloom is board certified in surgery and thoracic surgery.

Elias A. Iliadis, MD, is Director of Vascular Intervention, Medical Director of the Noninvasive Vascular Lab and a Clinical Cardiologist. Dr. Iliadis is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. He is board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease, interventional cardiology.

Joseph V. Lombardi, MD, is Director of the Cooper Aortic Center, Head of the Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, and Program Director of the Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Fellowship. Dr. Lombardi is Associate Professor of Surgery at the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. He is board certified in surgery and vascular Surgery.