COOPER LAUDS GLOUCESTER CITY
Dear Mayor William James,
During last month’s simultaneous heat wave and Water Emergency, Cooper University Hospital was in the portion of Camden experiencing a loss of pressure and service. At the time, Cooper University Hospital had an extremely high volume of patients, many of whom were critically ill or injured, and some of whom were Gloucester City residents. Without the swift and professional service rendered by your Department of Environmental Utilities a very serious situation could have been much worse.
Adequate water volume and pressure is among the most critical of utilities required for any healthcare facility and even more so for a Regional, tertiary/quaternary care facility such as Cooper. Aside from the obvious consumption and sanitary needs, water is critical for the medical gas and vacuum systems to insure safe operations and for the chiller systems used to maintain temperatures.
During the emergency we saw a drop in our usual pressures of 45-50psi down to below 5psi. While we maintain back-up systems for immediate safety needs, these are stop-gap measures and sustainment requires great resources and compromises some degree of the routine systems in place. This condition was experienced by all healthcare facilities in the City.
The City attempted remedies without immediate success and reached out to the Gloucester City Department of Environmental Utilities to assist. Within minutes the Gloucester City/Camden interconnect was activated and in short order we returned to adequate pressure levels so we could maintain all patient services without a single bad outcome. Without this swift action the ability maintain patient services required of a Level 1 Trauma Center would have been extremely difficult in the short term and impossible in the intermediate to long term.
In our 125 year existence it has been, and continue to be, our honor and privilege to serve the residents of Gloucester City. We are equally fortunate to have many of your residents as part of the Cooper family, serving in various roles, throughout the years. We take great pride in being available for as well as providing services to the entire Region. We are extremely grateful for the professional service rendered by our friends in Gloucester City during this event. Sincerely,
Maureen P. Barnes, Senior Vice President, Operations
Cooper University Hospital, Camden