October 23, 2018
Cooper University Health Care will join a plan to build a $27 million, 90-bed opioid addiction treatment facility in Cherry Hill.
Plans will be unveiled Tuesday morning for an inpatient recovery center to be constructed in partnership with Advanced Recovery Systems, a Florida-based addiction clinic operator, on the former Baker Bowling Lanes property on Cuthbert Boulevard. Scheduled to be completed in late 2019, it will be the first of several planned treatment facilities in the region, officials said.
The partnership aims to provide more local resources to address the national drug overdose epidemic – fueled by opioid addiction – that has struck hard in the Philadelphia region. Last year, there were more than seven overdose deaths – on average – every day in New Jersey. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 2,715 overdose deaths in the state in 2017, a 16 percent increase over the previous year.
“Drug addiction and deaths from drug overdoses, particularly opioids, continue to rise nationally and Cooper physicians are dealing with the results of addiction every day,” George E. Norcross III, chairman of the board of trustees for Cooper University Health Care, said in a statement. “There’s a clear need for responsible and effective treatment centers for patients and we look forward to working with ARS to create a facility that will fill an existing gap in the continuum of care and offer quality treatment for Cooper patients and all who are seeking recovery from addiction.”
The facility will offer a evidence-based addiction treatment facilities and wellness programs, including amenities like a yoga room, basketball and volleyball courts and a large fitness gym.
“Our patient-centered approach and focus on evidence-based care has successfully helped thousands of individuals in need of addiction treatment across the United States,” Dr. Mitchell Eisenberg, chief executive officer of Advanced Recovery Systems, said in a statement. “We are honored to partner with Cooper University Health Care and look forward to serving residents in New Jersey and the surrounding region by offering our effective treatment model.”
Three years ago, Cooper launched an addiction medicine program to help meet the need for inpatient, outpatient and chronic care treatment amid a shortage of local community recovery programs. Officials said the Camden hospital's emergency department already treats between 5 and 10 patients a day for opioid overdose or related health issues.
ARS and Cooper will work together to establish quality and evidenced-based treatment guidelines and recommend best practices and new protocols for treatment, officials said.
In 2016, ARS had sought to build the addiction treatment at another Cherry Hill location, the Masonic lodge site at 1205 Haddonfield-Berlin Road. The clinic operator was pushed to the Baker Lanes site after the township decided to develop the lodge site as open space.
Full disclosure: PhillyVoice Founder and CEO Lexie Norcross serves on the Cooper Foundation board of trustees. She is the president of the Norcross Foundation, and her father, George E. Norcross III, is the chairman of the board of trustees of Cooper University Health Care.