About Academic Health Systems

Academic health systems (also referred to as academic medical centers or major teaching hospitals) are hospitals aligned and integrated with a medical school and serve as the main location for training medical students, medical residents and fellows, and other trainees. Only about 300 (5%) of the 6,090 hospitals in the United States are academic health systems, according to the American Hospital Association.

The physicians who are part of an academic health system are recognized specialists in their fields and play a critical role in advancing medicine by training the next generation of medical professionals. While community hospitals focus solely on patient care, academic health systems, like Cooper University Health Care, take care further by integrating research, education, and advanced technologies to offer specialized services and innovative treatments (known as tertiary care) that community hospitals are unable to provide. Tertiary care services include such areas as cardiac surgery, cancer treatment and management, plastic and reconstructive surgery, neurosurgery, and other complicated treatments or procedures.

Academic health systems serve as major centers of research and innovation, with physicians and other health care professionals using the latest technologies to pioneer new and more effective medical treatments. Patients who receive care at Cooper have access to clinical trials, research studies, and treatments that are often not available anywhere else.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, patients who receive their care through an academic health system have up to 20% higher odds of survival compared to those patients who received medical care from a non-teaching, community hospital.

Academic health systems are accredited by The Joint Commission International, which sets the global standards for both health care quality and patient safety. 

Cooper Is the Region’s Leading Academic Health System

Cooper University Health Care is the region’s leading academic health system and provides access to primary, specialty, highly advanced tertiary, and urgent care—all within one complete health system. 

As the leading tertiary care center in South Jersey, physicians and hospitals throughout the area send their most complex, critically ill, and injured patients to Cooper for the most advanced level of care and treatment by our more than 1,100 highly trained physicians practicing in more than 75 specialties. Our experts offer state-of-the art procedures and specialized care for complex conditions that are typically not available at community hospitals.

Cooper is affiliated with—and its physicians serve as faculty of—Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, which is located on the Health Sciences Campus in Camden. Our specialists serve as the cornerstone of the future of medicine by educating and training the physicians, surgeons, and other health professionals of tomorrow.