By Pat Loeb

WILLINGBORO, N.J. (CBS) –– South Jersey patients needing long-term, acute care may be able to stay closer to home, with the expansion of Lourdes Specialty Hospital in Willingboro. The hospital has more than doubled its capacity to care for the region’s sickest patients.

Cheers went up from the guests when hospital CEO Cheri Cowperthwait officially cut the ribbon on the new space that she says is desperately needed in South Jersey.

“We’ve had to turn away, over the years, so many patients over the years that we know we could have made a really big difference in their lives. It’s really truly a life saving decision.”

lourdes2 Lourdes Specialty Hospital In South Jersey Doubles Capacity

Cheri Cowperthwait, Lourdes Specialty hospital CEO (credit: Pat Loeb)

Cowperthwait says the project- – more than four years in the making — cost $8 million. It took the hospital from 30 beds in 18 rooms to 69 beds in 54 rooms. The hospital partnered with Acuity Healthcare, whose CEO Ed Cooper says he felt more than just new beds were added.

“I have in my career been in a lot of renovated, but this building has not been renovated. It has come to life.”

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