Cooper University Health Care's executive management team has a wealth of experience in health care administration and development. The team's commitment to Cooper's patients, employees and the community, combined with a focus on fiscal responsibility, has resulted in a strong infrastructure designed to meet today's health care needs while moving toward tomorrow's innovations and breakthroughs. Cooper's leadership drives the organization to exceed the expectations of its patients and improve the overall health of the community.
ADRIENNE KIRBY, PhD, FACHE
President and CEO, Cooper University Health Care
Adrienne Kirby, PhD, FACHE, is President and CEO of Cooper University Health Care. She is responsible for the health system including all hospital and Ambulatory operations and oversees the physician group and the Institute structure at Cooper. Dr. Kirby leads Cooper's efforts to advance strategic health care partnerships and the implementation of new models of care delivery to improve quality and service and decrease cost.
Dr. Kirby joined Cooper in January 2012 with more than 30 years of health care management experience, much of it at hospitals in the Delaware Valley. Prior to joining Cooper, Dr. Kirby served as President of Medstar Franklin Square Medical Center in Baltimore, a 380-bed community teaching hospital. Franklin Square is the third largest hospital in Maryland and has been nationally recognized for excellence in clinical quality. Prior to her accomplishments at Franklin Square, Dr. Kirby served in various leadership positions at Virtua Health, including Chief Operating Officer of Ambulatory Services and Programs of Excellence and Chief Operating Officer of Virtua Hospital Voorhees. At Virtua, she spent more than 10 years building a foundation for growth, physician partnerships and development of services and facilities. Dr. Kirby has also worked at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where she was involved in an international health care project in Kiev, Ukraine.
In July 2015, South Jersey Biz magazine recognized Dr. Kirby in its Power Players 50 Issue, highlighting the top 50 businessmen and women in the region and in March she was named as one of the 50 Most Powerful People in New Jersey Health Care. She was selected as a 2014 Woman of Distinction by the Girls Scouts of Southern and Central New Jersey for being a role model to girls and women throughout the state. In 2014, Dr. Kirby was named one of the 50 Best Women in Business by NJ BIZ magazine, one of the Top Women in Business by SNJ Business People as well as one of the Most Admired CEOs by the Philadelphia Business Journal.
In 2013 and 2010, she led the Southern New Jersey American Heart Association's Go Red for Women event. Dr. Kirby has received many professional awards, including 2011 Baltimore Smart CEO BRAVA award, 2008 Community Service Award and 2005 Regent Senior Careerist award from ACHE, and the 2005 Administrative Achievement Award from the Healthcare Leadership Network of Delaware Valley. In 2003, she received the Woman of Distinction Award from the Philadelphia Business Journal. She was recognized in NJ Biz as one of 2012’s Top 100 in Health Care.
Dr. Kirby earned her bachelor of science in nursing degree from Rutgers University and her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. She has been a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives since 2003 and a certified health care executive since 1998. Dr. Kirby was born at Cooper and raised in South Jersey.
KEVIN M. O’DOWD, ESQ.
Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer
Kevin M. O’Dowd, Esq., is the Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for Cooper University Health Care. In that capacity, Mr. O’Dowd is responsible for business and organizational development, including the MD Anderson Cooper partnership and the AmeriHealth New Jersey relationship. Mr. O’Dowd also oversees marketing, public affairs, human resources, corporate real estate and development.
Before joining Cooper, Mr. O’Dowd served in the Cabinet of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, including as Chief of Staff from 2012 to 2014. Prior to joining the Christie Administration in 2010, Mr. O’Dowd served as the Chief of the Securities and Health Care Fraud Unit in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey. During his seven-year tenure as a federal prosecutor, Mr. O’Dowd investigated and prosecuted cases ranging from computer hacking and intellectual property theft to complex health care, securities and financial fraud. Mr. O’Dowd also served as the Chair of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Health Care Fraud Task Force, which comprised the leading federal and state health care fraud investigators and prosecutors in the State of New Jersey.
While at the U.S. Department of Justice, Mr. O’Dowd was a frequent panelist and speaker on health care fraud and compliance matters. Mr. O’Dowd was twice awarded the prestigious Integrity Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Award for Excellence from the United States President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency. In 2012, Seton Hall University School of Law presented Mr. O’Dowd with the St. Thomas More Medal for his distinguished public service and outstanding contributions to the law and the community.
Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2003, Mr. O’Dowd served as Deputy Attorney General for the State of New Jersey. In that position, Mr. O’Dowd’s responsibilities included providing legal counsel to the New Jersey Department of Health. Mr. O’Dowd also served as Assistant Counsel in the Office of Counsel to the Governor. He received his B.A. from The Catholic University of America and his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law in 1997.
ANTHONY J. MAZZARELLI, MD, JD, MBE
Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Physician Executive
Dr. Mazzarelli has had various roles at Cooper since his arrival in 1999. In his most recent role as the Senior Vice President of Operations and Deputy Chief Medical Officer, he oversaw the reorganization of the Quality and Patient Safety Department, which led Cooper to its recent first-time recognition as a “Top Performer” by The Joint Commission. Under his leadership, Cooper also realized significant improvement in the nationally recognized quality and safety Leapfrog Report Card.
In 2011, Dr. Mazzarelli helped start Cooper’s new Process Improvement Office, which has included the introduction of continuous process improvement principles, such as Lean Six Sigma, as a methodology for operational efficiency improvements. Prior to that role, he was Vice President of Strategic Planning and Implementation and was responsible for assisting in the development of the latest strategic plan for the health system as well as other business development projects. He was also one of the three original team members to work on integrating Cooper and Rowan in preparation for the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University.
Dr. Mazzarelli received his medical degree from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, his law degree from University of Pennsylvania Law School and his master's in bioethics from University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics. He trained in Emergency Medicine at Cooper University Hospital, where he also served as Chief Resident and later as the Medical Director of the Department of Emergency Medicine. In 2009, he was recognized as one of Philadelphia’s “Best Physicians Under 40.” In 2010, he was awarded the Halo Award by the South Jersey Professionals Association for leading a team of 18 health care providers from Cooper into Haiti in the days immediately following the 2010 earthquake.
In 2012, Dr. Mazzarelli was named one of the 50 most powerful people in New Jersey health care by NJ Biz. A member of the board of trustees for the YMCA of Burlington and Camden Counties, as well as the Camden Coalition of Health Care Providers, Dr. Mazzarelli has also received commendations for his leadership, and was named an Outstanding Young American by the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce.
STEPHANIE D. CONNERS, MBA, RN, BSN, NEA-BC
Senior Executive Vice President, Hospital Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Officer
Ms. Conners brings many years of progressive leadership experience in health care to Cooper, much of it in leadership roles driving strategic and operational goals to achieve service, quality and financial results. Ms. Conners was most recently Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick. From 2002 to 2012, she was a member of the leadership team at Hahnemann University Hospital, Philadelphia, serving in a variety of roles including Chief Nursing Officer for eight years. Previously, she served in numerous leadership and nursing positions with Virtua Health and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Ms. Conners is also a Lean Six-Sigma Black Belt and has worked to advance the application of Lean Six Sigma principles in health care. She has been published in a variety of health care journals, addressing both clinical and managerial topics, and has presented at national health care conferences on topics addressing advancements in nursing practice and patient safety. One of her most significant accomplishments was leading the Hahnemann team in achieving Tenet’s first Magnet designation in one of the system’s adult, acute-care hospitals in December 2009.
Ms. Conners earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Villanova University in 1993 and her Master of Business Administration from Eastern University in 2002. She completed a Johnson & Johnson/Wharton Fellowship in Management for Nurse Executives at the University of Pennsylvania in 2007. She was awarded Modern Healthcare’s “Up and Comer” in 2009.
DOUGLAS E. SHIRLEY
Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
As Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Douglas E. Shirley is responsible for the strategic direction and management of the finance function of The Cooper Health System. Mr. Shirley oversees Accounting, Revenue Cycle, Supply Chain, Treasury and Investment Management. In addition, he is Administrator of the Finance and Audit and Ethics Committees of Cooper’s Board of Trustees. Mr. Shirley joined Cooper in 2009 as Vice President of Revenue Cycle, where he was responsible for all revenue-cycle functions of Cooper University Hospital and Cooper University Physicians.
Mr. Shirley has had a long and successful career in health care financial management, business development and process improvement. Prior to joining Cooper, he was Director of the Healthcare Advisory Practice for PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP in Nashville, TN. Mr. Shirley earned his bachelor of business administration in finance from the University of Georgia.
GARY J. LESNESKI, ESQ.
Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel
Gary J. Lesneski Esq. is responsible for all aspects of the organization’s legal affairs. Mr. Lesneski was most recently a partner and president of the law firm of Archer & Greiner, P.C. He concentrated his practice in health and hospital law, labor and litigation.
A graduate of Haverford College and University of Pennsylvania Law School, Mr. Lesneski has appeared in state and federal courts on a regular basis and before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance and the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights. His health and hospital practice focuses on administrative, regulatory, labor, litigation and corporate compliance issues. He has twice served as Chair of the New Jersey State Bar Association Health and Hospital Law Section, from 2008 to 2009.
SUSAN BASS LEVIN
President and Chief Executive Officer, The Cooper Foundation
Susan Bass Levin is the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Cooper Foundation at Cooper University Health Care. Her career spans 35 years in government service and law, as well as leadership in nonprofit organizations and community organizations. Ms. Levin was the mayor of Cherry Hill from 1988 to 2002, served in the cabinet of three governors as the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, and served as the Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Ms. Levin is currently on the board of the Literacy Volunteers of Camden County, the Cherry Hill Public Library, Cooper Lanning Square Renaissance School, Inc. and the Chamber of Commerce of Southern New Jersey. She has been a member of the board of the Boys and Girls Club of Camden County, the New Jersey Women’s Fund and the South Jersey Development Council. Ms. Levin has also been the State President of the New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners.
Ms. Levin has been honored by many organizations for her work in the public and private sectors, including the Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs at Rutgers, Camden Churches Organized for People (CCOP), Executive Women of New Jersey, Women in Transportation, Professional Women in Construction, Women Builders Council, NJ Association of Women Lawyers, NJ Association of Women Business Owners, Chamber of Commerce of Southern New Jersey, Philadelphia Business Journal, Women’s Political Caucus, Bergen County Women Lawyers Network, Girl Scouts of America, Boys and Girls Club of Camden County, and the NJ Community Development Corporation.
A graduate of the University of Rochester (Phi Beta Kappa), Ms. Levin received her law degree from George Washington University Law School where she was a member of the Law Review.
CHRISTINE WINN, FACHE
Senior Vice President, MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper and Physician Alignment
Christine C. Winn, FACHE, is responsible for the growth and development of MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper and physician recruitment and relationship-building at Cooper University Health Care.
Prior to joining Cooper in 2013, Ms. Winn was the Executive Director of Aria Health Torresdale Campus, where she was responsible for hospital operations and campus growth and development. She also had system responsibility for oncology, trauma, cardiology, imaging and pathology. Previously, she served in numerous leadership positions at Paoli Hospital, Bridgeport Hospital/Yale New Haven Health in Connecticut and University of Pennsylvania Health System.
Ms. Winn currently serves as a member of the Board of Governors of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). She was also ACHE Regent for Southeastern Pennsylvania and is past president of the Healthcare Leadership Network of the Delaware Valley. She has served on the boards of Northeast Family YMCA, Old Pine Community Center and Groundwork Bridgeport. She has been recognized as an “Up and Comer” by Modern Healthcare and by the Pennsylvania ACHE Regent with the Early Careerist Award.
A graduate of Furman University, Ms. Winn received a master’s degree in organizational dynamics from University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in hospital administration from University of South Carolina.
GARY S. YOUNG, MA, DPH
Executive Vice President Government Relations and Public Policy
Gary S. Young is the Executive Vice President, Government Relations and Public Policy for The Cooper Health System. His career spans more than 35 years of experience in strategic planning, marketing, statistical consulting and government relations. Dr. Young has extensive expertise in health policy and regulatory affairs. He received his bachelor's and master’s degree in sociology with a concentration in statistics and research methods from The Pennsylvania State University, where he also held a research fellowship in economics and applied statistics. Later, he studied epidemiology and toxicology at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, where he received both a master’s and a doctorate in Public Health. He has taught at Penn State University, Drexel University, Rutgers University-Camden, and has been a long-standing faculty member of the Community College of Philadelphia. He has published policy papers and research on poverty, chemical exposure and chronic disease burden.
Dr. Young joined Cooper in 1985 as Director of Planning and Marketing. He was promoted to Vice President for Planning and Marketing in 1996, and then appointed Executive Vice President for Planning and Marketing in 2000. He has served as Executive Vice President for Government Relations and Public Policy since 2006. Dr. Young has served on numerous health care strategy and policy committees for the New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA), the New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals and the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC). He is currently a member of the Policy Development Committee of the NJHA and a member of the Government Relations Steering Committee of the AAMC. He is also an active member of the American Sociological Association and the American Association of Public Health.
LOUIS S. BEZICH, MPP
Senior Vice President of Strategic Alliances
Louis S. Bezich, MPP, is Senior Vice President of Strategic Alliances at Cooper University Health Care, where he provides vital leadership for Cooper’s Population Health initiatives, including the system’s relationship with AmeriHealth New Jersey; and advances Cooper’s role in the City of Camden and the region.
Mr. Bezich serves as a Director on the Board of AmeriHealth New Jersey and is Vice Chairman of the Rowan University/Rutgers-Camden Board of Governors. He represents Cooper on the Board of the Camden Coalition of Health Care Providers and is President of the Board of Cooper Lanning Square Renaissance School Facilities, Inc.
Mr. Bezich is an adjunct professor in the Graduate Department of Public Policy and Administration at Rutgers University and has previously taught at Camden County College and Rowan University.
Since 2002 he has served as Chairman of the Camden Higher Education and Health Care Task Force and is Chairman of the Camden Special Services District Advisory Board. From 2001 to 2009 Mr. Bezich served as President of the Board of Education of the Camden County Technical School District. He is Past President of the Boy Scout Councils of Camden County and Southern New Jersey, and is the recipient of their Silver Beaver and Distinguished Citizen Awards for community service.
Mr. Bezich holds a master of public policy degree from Rutgers University and a bachelor of science degree from the University of Tampa. He is also a graduate of Harvard University's Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government.
TERRY RICCA, RN
Senior Vice President and Chief Experience Officer
Terry Ricca, RN, is Senior Vice President and Chief Experience Officer of Cooper University Health Care. She joined Cooper in 2014 with more than 30 years of health care experience.
Ms. Ricca provides the vision, leadership and direction for patient-centric approaches to improve the emotional, physical and spiritual experiences of patients and their families. She works with Coopers’ physicians, leaders and staff to build a sustainable culture that promotes accountability, fosters innovation, and consistently delivers a great patient experience for the best quality outcomes. Ms. Ricca and her team are building a state-of-the-art Access Center to improve patient access to care.
Prior to coming to Cooper, she served in a variety of leadership roles at Virtua, including vice president of customer experience where she provided strategy and direction for the health system’s patient satisfaction and service excellence initiatives. Previously, she held leadership roles within the health system’s women’s and children’s service line from 2006 to 2009, including as vice president.
Ms. Ricca has received numerous awards for her accomplishments. In 2005, she received the Girl Scouts of Central and Southern NJ Women of Achievement Award; in 2006, she was honored with the Outstanding Leadership and Achievement in Nursing from the Alumni Association of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing; and, in 2010, she was featured in South Jersey Magazine’s Super Women issue.
ADRIENNE ELBERFELD, MS, PMP, CPHQ
Senior Vice President, Quality and Operational Excellence
Adrienne Elberfeld joined Cooper University Health Care in June 2012 with more than 20 years of health care experience. She is Senior Vice President of Quality and Operational Excellence, providing leadership for Performance Improvement, Clinical Effectiveness, Infection Prevention, Patient Safety, Regulatory & Accreditation, Clinical Documentation Improvement Program, Process Improvement, Medical Affairs, Radiation Safety, Population Health, Management Systems and Benchmarking Productivity departments. She also is responsible for implementation and oversight of the Lean Six Sigma program, which has included training emerging leaders as Green Belts to facilitate system-wide projects and development of a leadership Yellow Belt certification. She serves as Administrator of the Quality Committee of the Board of Trustees and is Adjunct Professor at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University for their medical student Yellow Belt certification program.
Prior to coming to Cooper, Ms. Elberfeld held leadership roles at St. Mary’s Medical Center, Langhorne, PA; Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA; and Virtua Health, Marlton, NJ.
Ms. Elberfeld earned a bachelor of science in nutrition and a master of science degree in organizational effectiveness, development and change from the University of Delaware. She is a GE-Certified Master Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and Master Change Agent.
WILLIAM G. SMITH
Senior Vice President of Finance and Chief Accounting Officer
William G. Smith is the Senior Vice President of Finance and Chief Accounting Officer for The Cooper Health System. He is also Treasurer of the Cooper Foundation. Mr. Smith joined Cooper in April 2001. He has more than 35 years of health care leadership and management experience, including 14 years of service with the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where he had increasing leadership responsibilities that eventually led to a position as Controller. His past experience encompasses consulting and serving in financial leadership positions at other non-profit and for-profit institutions.
Mr. Smith holds a master’s of business administration from Temple University and earned his bachelor of science degree in accounting and finance with honors from Lincoln University.
He currently serves as Chairman on the Board of Trustees for North East Treatment Centers (NET), which provides services to Greater Philadelphia for behavioral health and social services.