New Jersey Department of Health

PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
April 5, 2019

Shereef Elnahal

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

Media Advisory: NJ Health Commissioner to visit MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper University Hospital to Highlight New Minimum Wage Law

New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal will join Cooper University Health Care Co-President Kevin O’Dowd, Chairman George E. Norcross III and Congressman Donald Norcross in Camden on Monday, April 8 as part of a series of hospital visits to highlight the positive impacts of Gov. Phil Murphy’s signing of the $15 minimum wage law.

In November 2018, Cooper Healthcare became the first health system in New Jersey to commit to raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour for full-time, part-time and per-diem employees. This policy was implemented in January. The raise benefits approximately 16 percent of Cooper’s 7,500 employees, more than 450 of whom are Camden County residents.

"Cooper University Health Care is a leader in embracing higher wages because they know this results in a thriving, more productive workforce,” Commissioner Elnahal said. “Not only does this investment help employees, it also produces better, higher-quality care.”

During his visit, Commissioner Elnahal will also meet with Cooper employees who have benefited from their new minimum wage policy.

The event will begin at 10:15 a.m. in the 4th floor conference room at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, 2 Cooper Plaza (400 Haddon Avenue, Camden, NJ 08103)

Earlier this year, Gov. Murphy signed legislation that will raise New Jersey’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024.

Under the law, the base minimum wage for New Jersey workers will increase to $10/hour on July 1, 2019. By January 1, 2020, the statewide minimum wage will increase to $11/hour, and then will increase by $1/hour every January 1st until it reaches $15/hour on January 1, 2024, impacting more than one million New Jersey workers.

“It is important that health systems lead the way on this issue given all that we know about the connection between financial security and long-term health outcomes, which is why we knew we had to take steps to raise wages for Cooper's staff," said George E. Norcross III, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Cooper University Health Care. “At Cooper, we have taken a leading role in supporting the revitalization of Camden and supporting its residents, and as the largest employer in Camden city -- we recently moved hundreds of new employees into the city under the Grow New Jersey program -- we knew that we have to lead by example, and raising wages is just one way we are doing that."

Last month, Commissioner Elnahal visited RWJ Barnabas Health Jersey City Medical Center to discuss the positive impact raising the minimum wage in New Jersey would have on health outcomes, turnover rates, job performance and overall mortality rates. He also joined Gov. Murphy at New Bridge Medical Center in February to celebrate the bill signing.

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