Perry Weinstock: doctoring across the river

Interview and article prepared for the Philadelphia Business Journal, as filed last week, without edits, to run in yesterday’s edition.

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His colleagues told him that a move from Philadelphia to New Jersey was a mistake.

Ten years ago, though, Dr. Perry J. Weinstock made the move. He was recruited by Cooper University Hospital in Camden, N.J. as the director of clinical cardiology and associate head of his division in 1998.  For ten years he served the growing research university and served it well. In January it was announced that Weinstock would be made head of the division of cardiovascular disease at Cooper.

“I’ve waited ten years for this promotion,” he said.

Before Cooper,  he was the director of cardiology at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital with a nice office and patients he liked. So, at first, he rebuked calls from Cooper. But the calls persisted enough that he crossed the Delaware River for a tour. He was impressed with the facilities and staff.

“To this day I love Jefferson,” he said. “But, Cooper has really emerged as a premiere research hospital in the Delaware Valley. It is truly an honor to lead such a fine institution.”

Still, more work is to be done, he said. Weinstock has plans to expand the hospital’s preventative cardiology practice.

“I also want to promote quality,” he said. “At all levels of cardiovascular care: inpatient, outpatient, prevention, treatment after the fact.”

He thinks his background in practiced cardiology, rather than strictly an academic, leadership or supervisory role, will help.

“I have actually worked on the battle lines,” he said. “If that general sits in the ivory tower and never gets his fingernails dirty, it’s hard to listen to him.”

For it, he has a lesson, ten years in the making.

“There’s life on the other side of the river.”

See other reporting by Christopher Wink here. Above, an artist’s rendering of Cooper University Hospital after impending renovations, taken from the hospital’s Web site.