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RWJBH to rename flagship Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center in honor of historic $ 100 million donation

By on September 30, 2021 0

Léon and Toby Cooperman. (RWJBH)

Philanthropists Leon and Toby Cooperman announced Thursday morning that the Cooperman Family Foundation is making a historic donation of $ 100 million to Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston.

In honor of the family’s gift, the largest ever given to a New Jersey hospital, RWJBarnabas Health will rename the facility Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center.

The Coopermans, who live and raised their families in Essex County, have a long history of philanthropy in a number of areas, but this Barnabas facility in particular. The couple have already made more than 100 donations to the medical center, including a $ 25 million donation in 2014 that served as a catalyst for a vast expansion of the hospital.

Leon Cooperman, 78, a longtime Wall Street financier who is chairman and CEO of Omega Advisors, a New York-based investment advisory firm, said giving back to the community he lives in has always been a top priority.

In 2010, the Coopermans took on the Giving Pledge, a philanthropic initiative started by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates that encourages the world’s richest individuals and families to donate the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes. This gift, he said, is a continuation of that effort.

Keeping care in the NJ

Leon Cooperman said part of the motivation to donate $ 100 million to the now renowned Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center was an effort to support and elevate healthcare in the state.

“I am very good friends with another philanthropist who I think is a fabulous human being, Ken Langone,” he said. “He gave NYU a very big leadership gift. And, over the past five years, it has helped them make a major transition to the hospital.

“We don’t want to have to cross the Hudson River to get good medical care, we want to get it in New Jersey. And we hope we help St. Barnabas provide this medical care.

“Our core philosophy is to give back,” he told ROI-NJ. “My family discussed it as a unit, and we thought it was the best thing to do with our money.

“Saint Barnabé is a fabulous institution, welcomes around 400,000 patients each year. Everyone deserves good health care. And we’re just so lucky to be able to help.

Cooperman said the family knew the value of the hospital firsthand.

“All of my immediate family members have undergone surgeries in Saint-Barnabé,” he said. “We all received very good service and excellent care. We want to make sure that great care is available for others.

This donation is not tied to any particular project, but RWJBarnabas Health CEO Barry Ostrowsky told ROI-NJ that the donation would have both immediate and lasting impact.

“Like all businesses, we have a strategic plan,” he said. “Ours includes new facilities, recruiting new clinicians, expanding university education, expanding social programs – all the things we need to do to continue our mission.

“When you put $ 100 million into executing this plan, you can speed it all up. And you can make sure that it’s not just a vision in a loose-leaf binder somewhere, but really a business model that will ultimately make your mission successful.

The donation to Saint-Barnabé is the family’s largest donation to an institution. Cooperman said it was important to show continued support for the healthcare industry during a pandemic.

Cooperman philanthropy

The Cooperman Family Fund has donated millions to numerous organizations across the country and around the world. Leon Cooperman said he was most proud of the Cooperman College Scholars, a fund he created with $ 50 million that has helped send more than 1,000 children to college.

Cooperman, the first member of his family to go to college, said he understood the importance of it.

“A kid with a college education in their lifetime earns well over a million dollars more than a kid without a college education,” he said. “Going to university gives them the tools to be more competitive in the world.

“It’s the most important thing we’ve done – not in terms of dollars, but in terms of satisfaction.”

“The pandemic has shown us that heroes work in our hospitals every day, and I am honored to help support their work,” he said.

The family’s $ 25 million donation in 2014 helped St. Barnabas construct a five-story, 241,000 square foot, $ 200 million medical building with 114 private rooms and a state-of-the-art neonatal intensive care unit. technology. The building, which opened in 2017, was named the Cooperman Family Pavilion in honor of the family.

Ostrowsky said the $ 100 million donation was obviously extraordinary – and that he was personally moved that the Coopermans decided to once again support the mission of the hospital and the healthcare system.

“Obviously I love the amount of the gift – $ 100 million, it’s amazing – but I really appreciate the fact that he thinks enough about us and the mission and commitment we have to communities to use us as a vehicle for his interest in making a better community, ”he said. “It’s really rewarding.

“The numbers on the check are just too important to really count. But the fact that he believes in what we do, you can’t put a price tag on it.

Although Cooperman is one of Wall Street’s most successful financiers, he comes from humble roots.

He was raised in the South Bronx, New York, by Jewish immigrants who fled Poland to escape the Holocaust. His father was a plumber. Cooperman attended the New York public school system and became the first in his family to attend college, enrolling at Hunter College (then called Lehman) at the City University of New York with the intention of becoming a dentist. He met his wife in college French class and they were married the same year they graduated, 1964.

After his first job at Xerox, Cooperman received his MBA from Columbia University. He then spent 25 years at Goldman Sachs, becoming general partner and CEO of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. He retired in 1991 and started Omega Advisors, a New York-based hedge fund that amassed nearly $ 10 billion in assets.

Toby Cooperman has spent his life advocating for the interests of people with intellectual disabilities. She retired from a career as a special education specialist at the Early Childhood Learning Center in Chatham.

His leadership in community organizations is vast. She was a member of the Board of Trustees of JCC Metrowest for over 30 years and a member of the board of trustees of Jewish Services for the Developmentally Disabled and Jespy House. In addition, she has served on the board of directors of the Jewish Community Foundation of MetroWest, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, the former Theresa Grotta Rehabilitation Center and many other organizations.

Leon Cooperman said he hopes the donation will inspire others to do the same.

“Hospitals like this need and deserve the support of private citizens to ensure that patients have access to excellent healthcare and the latest advances in medical technology,” he said. “I encourage others to follow my example if they are able to do so.”

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