CFO Douglas Shirley: Improving Margins at Cooper Health System

Camden, N. J., home to Cooper Health System, has its share of economic challenges. With an 11.3 percent unemployment rate last June, almost 3 percentage points higher than the rest of New Jersey, its residents push the limits of Cooper's charity care. Still, a strategic medical school partnership, coupled with CFO Douglas Shirley's financial experience, have kept the system solvent and growing.

Douglas Shirley is CFO of Cooper Health System.As of last November, the hospital saw a 9 percent increase in inpatient admissions and observation stays from the previous year, and it finished out the year with a 6.8 percent operation cash flow margin. Under Mr. Shirley's leadership, cash-to-debt ratios improved 16 percentage points from last fiscal year. Moody's Investors Services affirmed its "Baa3" rating on its $242 million in cash reserves.

Cooper recently partnered with nearby Rowan University's new four-year medical school, which enrolled its first students last fall.

Mr. Shirley joined Cooper's team in 2009, having previously served as director of PwC's Healthcare Advisory Practice in Nashville, Tenn. Mr. Shirley earned his bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Georgia.

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