News & Stories


The Catalyst Newsletter – July 2012

Greetings from Susan Bass Levin and Dr. Edward D. Viner


Welcome back to The Catalyst, our eNewsletter designed to deliver the latest Cooper University Hospital Foundation news and happenings directly to your inbox. 

On July 24, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University proudly opened its doors, shaping the future of medical education in Southern Jersey. Providing 125 years of service to the community, Cooper continues to advance in cutting edge research, innovative medical techniques, and the highest standard of academic excellence.

We hope you will join us for three very important events, as the proceeds go to support groundbreaking cancer research leading to more effective prevention and treatment. The Second Annual Jim Fifis Lung Cancer Research Fund Dinner at Ponzio’s will take place on Tuesday, October 2, 2012. The Shops at Lee Newman Plaza will host a charity cocktail party to benefit Pink Roses Teal Magnolias on October 5, 2012. The Third Annual Pink Roses Teal Magnolias brunch will be held at the Crowne Plaza in Cherry Hill on October 28, 2012. For more information about these events, please visit our website:, or contact Suzanne Winderman at 856.963.6704.

Your investment has a direct impact on the lives of so many South Jerseyans, and our success is credited to the generous spirit of the extended Cooper family. It is truly a privilege to express our sincere thanks for your continued commitment to Cooper University Hospital.

See you next issue,
Susan Bass Levin and Edward D. Viner, MD

Check out the Progress!

The Cooper Cancer Institute Live Webcam:

Architect’s Rendering



Third Annual Pink Roses Teal Magnolias Brunch

October 28, 2012

Pink Roses Teal Magnolias

Join the fight against breast and gynecologic cancer by being a part of Cooper’s “Pink Roses and Teal Magnolias” Brunch, benefitting the Cooper Cancer Institute. This unique fundraiser pays tribute to survivors who have overcome breast or gynecologic cancers, and also recognizes loved ones lost to these difficult diseases.

The funds raised by Pink Roses Teal Magnolias will enable the Cooper Cancer Institute to offer new treatment approaches to help save the lives of women across the region.

The event includes a special presentation, a delicious brunch, raffle prizes, gift baskets, health screenings and important health care information for women.

Tickets are $100 per person and sponsorship opportunities are available. To register, become a sponsor, or place an ad, please visit or contact Suzanne Winderman at 856.963.6704.

Date: October 28, 2012

Time: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Location: The Crowne Plaza, Cherry Hill, New Jersey


James K. Aikins, Jr., MD, Division of Obstetrics & Gynecology

Robert A. Somer, MD, Division of Hematology & Oncology

Ann Steffney, RN, Cooper Cancer Institute, Lead Nurse Navigator

James K. Aikins, Jr., MD

Robert A. Somer, MD

Ann Steffney, RN








Event Chairs:

Susan Bass Levin, President & CEO, The Cooper Foundation

Generosa Grana, MD, Director, Cooper Cancer Institute

Kristin L. Brill, MD, Program Director, The Janet Knowles Breast Cancer Center at Cooper

David P. Warshal, MD, Head, Division of Gynecologic Oncology


Joan S. Davis ● Donna Forman ● Janet Knowles ● Dara Marcozzi ● Sandee Vogelson

Cocktail Party to Benefit Pink Roses Teal Magnolias

Hosted by The Shops at Lee Newman Plaza

October 5, 2012, 6 p.m.

Love to shop & raise money for the Pink & Teal cause?

The Cooper Foundation and The Shops at Lee Newman Plaza will host a complimentary cocktail party to benefit Pink Roses Teal Magnolias. Invite your friends to mingle, drink & shop for a great cause! Lee Newman is located at 2076 Route 70 East, Cherry Hill.

The Shops at Lee Newman Plaza will also donate 10 percent of all proceeds during the month of October to Pink Roses Teal Magnolias. For additional information, please contact Suzanne Winderman at 856.963.6704.

Event Co-Chairs: Jeffrey and Tracy Brown ● Rick and Donna Forman ●  Michael and Robyn Hirsch

Second Annual Jim Fifis Lung Cancer Research Fund dinner

October 2, 2012








Before Jim Fifis, the long-time owner of Ponzio’s, died of lung cancer in 2007, he asked his three sons, Chris, Nick and John, to honor his dying wish: to advocate for a cure for lung cancer and to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking. Jim did not want other families to suffer the pain his own family had experienced. Jim’s sons knew that the best way to carry on their father’s legacy was to partner with Cooper to help fight lung cancer.

The Fifis family and the Cooper Foundation will hold its second annual Jim Fifis Lung Cancer Research Fund dinner on Tuesday, October 2. Proceeds will benefit the Jim Fifis Lung Cancer Research Fund at Cooper. Tickets are $125 each and sponsorship opportunities are available. To register or become a sponsor visit or contact Suzanne Winderman at 856.963.6704.

Date: October 2, 2012

Time: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Location: Ponzio’s, Rt. 70, Cherry Hill, NJ

The delicious Cooper Cookie is back!

Proceeds from the Cooper Cookie sales also benefit the Jim Fifis Lung Cancer Research Fund at Cooper. The cookie costs $5 and is on sale at Ponzio’s and Café Excellence Coffee Shop located in the Roberts Pavilion through October.

Cooper Profiles

Meet Frank W. Bowen, III, MD, Thoracic Surgical Director of the Lung Cancer Center at Cooper Cancer Institute (CCI); and the Fifis brothers, carrying on their father’s legacy through the creation of the Jim Fifis Lung Cancer Research Fund at Cooper.

Frank W. Bowen, MD

Frank W. Bowen, III, MD

Dr. Bowen always enjoyed the sciences and knew early on in high school that he would pursue a career in medicine.

“I wanted to explore a scientific career as well as to help people,” explains Dr. Bowen, who received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania and completed his internship and residency training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Today, as Thoracic Surgical Director of the Lung Cancer Center at Cooper Cancer Institute, he is doing just that.

Dr. Bowen serves as leader of the multidisciplinary team of physicians who evaluate and care for lung cancer patients at CCI.

He is skilled in all aspects of pulmonary resections including traditional open thoracotomies, minimally invasive video-assisted thoracoscopy and lobectomies (VATS) and resections using the daVinci Robotic Surgical System.

In fact, Cooper uses the daVinci® robot for lung resections more than any other hospital in South Jersey.

“I appreciate the technical aspects of thoracic surgery,” Dr.  Bowen says. “It can be very challenging and you can make a significant impact on a patient’s life.”

Dr. Bowen credits the Cooper Foundation and the Fifis family of Ponzio’s Diner-Bakery-Bar for raising awareness about lung cancer and for supporting the Lung Cancer Center at Cooper.

“They’ve been wonderful supporters and have really helped us to create a higher profile,” Dr. Bowen says. “Their support will enable our team to translate significant research results into effective new treatment options for cancer patients.” 

The Fifis Family

Two weeks before their father passed away in 2007, Nick Fifis and his brothers, Chris and John,

Pictured (L to R): John Fifis, Violetta Fifis, Nick Fifis, and Chris Fifis

had a conversation with him about raising money for lung cancer research.

“It was really our last heart-to-heart talk,” Nick recalls. “My father never asked for much, so it stuck with us.”

To honor their father’s dying wish, the brothers – along with their mother and other family members – established the Jim Fifis Lung Cancer Research Fund at the Cooper Cancer Institute.

Now in its second year, the fund raises money to help ensure that patients have access to the best possible lung cancer care right here in South Jersey.

Born in Greece, Jim Fifis was the long-time owner of Ponzio’s Diner-Bakery-Bar in Cherry Hill.

Nick remembers he and his brothers going to the diner almost every night for dinner  because his dad was always working.

“My father was the type of person who worked hard all his life,” Nick says. “His life and his hobby was Ponzio’s.”

When his dad did take time off for a family vacation, it was to Wildwood with Greek music playing on the car ride down.

“Everything was Greek,” Nick recalls. “We stayed at the Olympic hotel and ate at the Athens restaurant. He loved being Greek.”

At home, Violetta Fifis was the boss.

“My mom raised three kids while my dad was at Ponzio’s,” says Nick.  “With a husband who worked all the time it had to be difficult.”

In addition to having three sons, Violetta now has nine grandchildren.

Having never known their grandfather when they were growing up, Nick and his brothers are determined to make sure their children know all about their “Papou.”

The Jim Fifis Lung Cancer Research Fund is one way to do that.

“We do this to keep his spirit alive,” Nick says. “As the years go by, we hope our children can play a more active role.”

Cooper in the Community: Celebrate the summer with the FREE Summer in the City Music Festival!


To view photos from the concert series, please use the following link:

Attendees of the concert enjoy free face painting by the Garden State Discovery “On the Go” Museum

The third annual Summer in the City music festival kicked off at Cooper Commons Park on Thursday, July 5 with the popular band “To The Max” and Thursday, July 12 with the talented band “Leon Huff presents Ju-Taun.”

The goal of Summer in the City is to help build a sense of community while showcasing our neighborhood parks in the Cooper Plaza and Lanning Square neighborhoods.

“The Summer in the City concert series provides a great opportunity for the community to come together in a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy the neighborhood and have some fun,” said John P. Sheridan, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of The Cooper Health System. “The concerts also give people who work in the city a chance to unwind with their colleagues and offer students a place to enjoy some live music with their friends.”

Co-sponsors of the Summer in the City concert series include Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, Campbell’s Soup, Rowan University, and the Garden State Discovery Museum – which will offer face painting and bubble fun, and water ice from Rita’s.

Summer in the City is your after-work destination during the summer.  See below for additional dates:

July 26, 5:30 p.m. – “Jimmy Jorge Latin Express” at Lanning Square Park, 4th & Clinton Streets

August 2, 5:30 p.m. – “Hector Rosado Latin Band” at Lanning Square Park, 4th & Clinton Streets

All are invited to attend!

Cooper Medical School of Rowan University Ribbon Cutting







On Tuesday, July 24 more than 300 business, political, and community leaders from throughout New Jersey celebrated the grand opening of Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. The $139 million, 200,000 square foot, six-story building is truly the future of healthcare in southern Jersey.

Cooper Partners to Help Make Melanoma a Memory

The Fourth Annual Talk While You Walk/5k Run for Peggy Spiegler took place on June 23 at Cooper River Park in Pennsauken. Organizers for the Peggy Spiegler Melanoma Research Foundation (PSMRF), which hosted the event, described it as “our most successful Walk/Run event” with more than 300 walkers and runners of all ages (including kids). The funds raised from the event will go toward The Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper’s “Cooper in Schools” program, which coordinates outreach and education efforts to students, teachers, school nurses, coaches, athletic trainers, and parent-teacher and community organizations throughout the Delaware Valley. For more information on the Peggy Spiegler Melanoma Research Foundation, please visit:

The New da Vinci® Surgical Robot Is Changing Surgery in South Jersey


A robot is now on call – waiting to assist surgeons in the operating room at Cooper University Hospital. The remote controlled robot enables surgeons to perform delicate procedures with the smallest incisions. The da Vinci Surgical System consists of  an ergonomically designed console where the surgeon sits while operating, a patient-side cart where the patient lies during surgery, four interactive robotic arms, a high-definition 3D vision system, and special EndoWrist® instruments which provide precise movement of surgical instruments. Cooper is one of a few area hospitals that can offer patients the advantages of the da Vinci Surgical System. Smaller incisions mean less post-operative pain and blood loss, shorter hospital stays, and a return to everyday activities in less time than with traditional open surgery. Robotic surgery is currently used to treat bladder, cervical, head and neck, kidney, lung, ovarian, prostate and uterine cancers.


The da Vinci Surgical System has a brief but dramatic history. Remote surgeries were first performed with the assistance of robotic technology during the Iraq War. For injured soldiers on the front lines, this advance literally meant the difference between life and death. Doctors could not only see and diagnose treatment for wounded warriors from remote locations, they could also perform life-saving surgical procedures while being protected from the line of fire. Robotic surgical technology increased survival rates by cutting down on potential complications caused by the time and trauma of transporting soldiers from the battlefield to military hospitals.

Children’s Regional Hospital Honors Leaders in Pediatric Medicine: Tribute Event Raises $130,000 for Children’s Health Care Programs

To view photos from the event, please use the following link:

The Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper and the Cooper Foundation held a reception on Wednesday, June 13 to honor two esteemed South Jersey leaders in pediatric medicine and to raise funds to benefit children’s health care programs. Honorees William G. Sharrar, MD, and Sidney Sussman, MD, have been providing pediatric care to children across South Jersey for more than three decades and received the “Champion for Children” award in recognition for their contributions to the medical community.

“Doctors Sharrar and Sussman are champions in every sense of the word,” said Michael H. Goodman, MD, Chief of Pediatrics at the Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper. “They have treated thousands of children across South Jersey and have taught generations of doctors how to listen to and care for our youngest patients.”

More than 200 people attended the tribute event, which was held in the Roberts Pavilion at Cooper University Hospital, and raised $130,000. Proceeds will go toward supporting the Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper, as well as Cooper’s Summer Reading Institute, which helps Camden children build lifelong reading skills, and the Child Life Program, which enhances the well-being of children as they undergo the stress of illness and hospitalization. In addition, the funds will help establish a child abuse and neglect prevention program aimed at educating the community and expanding the expertise of Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper staff.

“The Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper offers top-level pediatric care and programs right here in South Jersey,” said Susan Bass Levin, President and CEO of the Cooper Foundation. “Doctors Sharrar and Sussman have been instrumental in the growth of the hospital and have long been advocates for improving children’s health from infancy through graduation day.”

The Cooper Foundation and the Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper thank the co-chairs for their dedication and support: Michael Hartung, Anne E. Koons, and Michael H. Goodman, MD, Chief of Pediatrics, Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper.

Pictured at the event are (L-R) Michael H. Goodman, MD, Chief of Pediatrics, Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper; Susan Bass Levin, President and CEO, Cooper Foundation; George E. Norcross, III, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Cooper Health System; Honorees Sidney Sussman, MD, and William G. Sharrar, MD.

Pictured at the event are members of the Women’s Board (Standing L-R): Joan Kelly; Tina Cressman; Cathy Sharrar; Judith Heuisler; Marilyn Cohen; Deborah Sacchetti; Janet Houston; Ann “Teddy” Thomas. (Seated L-R): Donna Townsend; Melody Goldberg; Grace Barr, President of the Women’s Board; and Marlene Ances.


Winner of the Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper Raffle

Congratulations to Kristina Wolfe from the Department of Pediatrics on winning the Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper Raffle Prize – four Hall of Fame Phillies Tickets.


Pictured above, from left: Michael H. Goodman, MD, Department of Pediatrics; Kristina Wolfe, RN, Department of Pediatrics; and Cooper Foundation President and CEO Susan Bass Levin.


Safe Kids Southern New Jersey at Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper Receives Grant From State Farm to Educate Parents and Teens on Travel Safety

On Thursday, June 21, 2012, representatives from State Farm® presented a check to Safe Kids Southern New Jersey at Cooper for a $5,000 grant. The generous donation will be used to purchase booster seats and helmets to provide to children and parents free of charge at educational events throughout the South Jersey region. During the next several months, Safe Kids Southern New Jersey at Cooper will host educational programs focusing on booster seat and bike safety, as well as teen driving presentations.

Pictured (L-R) Rodney Stevenson, State Farm Agent; Maureen Donnelly, RN, Coordinator of Safe Kids Southern NJ at Cooper University Hospital; Lynn K. Vaughan, State Farm Agent; Robyn Harvey, RN, Senior Director Patient Care Services; Catherine Riccard, State Farm Agent.

In The News…..

Douglas Allen, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, on his appointment to the Board of Directors of the new regional United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey where he will serve as the Chair of the Human Resources Committee.

Honorable Chuck Cahn, Mayor of Cherry Hill and member of the Cooper Foundation Board of Trustees, recently announced the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign to promote healthier life styles, engage in physical activity, and promote nutritional awareness. Cooper University Hospital is a proud partner of this initiative. For additional information, please visit:

Ron Dubrow, a member of the Cooper Foundation Board of Trustees, was presented with the Community Service Award from The Jewish Community Foundation on May 15 for his 30-year commitment to community service.

Edward D. Viner, MD, Chairman of the Cooper Foundation Board of Trustees, received the Strittmatter Award for his career- long contributions to medicine. The Award was established in 1923 by I.P. Strittmatter, MD, and is the most prestigious honor given by the Philadelphia County Medical Society.

Douglas Allen, SPHR, Senior Vice President of Human Resources

Chuck Cahn, Mayor of Cherry Hill

Chuck Cahn, Mayor of Cherry Hill

Ron Dubrow

Ron Dubrow

Edward D. Viner, MD

Edward D. Viner, MD



Cooper University Hospital to Receive Federal Grant Worth $3.3 Million

Cooper University Hospital was awarded more than $920,000 in federal funding as the first installment in a three-year, $3.3 million grant. The grant, administered through the Affordable Care Act, will allow the hospital to hire 14 new employees, save millions through improved long-term care, and improve care for patients with special medical needs. The funding is expected to save Cooper an estimated $6 million by providing preventive care services and better monitoring of patient transitions.

Cooper Reacts to Healthcare Reform Bill Upheld by Supreme Court

Hospitals and Healthcare Systems across the country are struggling, and regardless of this bill, we must find new ways to provide better care at lower costs. We believe that by providing expanded opportunities for citizens of the United States to receive health insurance, we can increase the ability to provide better care without strapping an already strained healthcare delivery system. More patients will benefit from Cooper’s care as we currently provide more than $42.5 Million (2011) in uncompensated care. This is a step in the right direction, but we will need innovation to clearly identify the best way to reach this expanded patient base – we believe that Accountable Care Organizations are going to be the first large step in bringing positive change to healthcare.

We have already begun to pilot new accountable care programs we believe are going to bring increased quality of care to patients at reduced costs. Surrounding patients with end to end care, and providing better monitoring and education keep people healthier, and out of the hospital. Reducing readmission rates and decreasing overuse of the healthcare system because management of disease by the patient is better, is the future of healthcare and we are going to work to make this progress possible for our patients.

This video explains to how we are working towards Accountable Care.