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Love of Camden and Cooper leads to major gift from local physician couple

Many couples treasure the place where they met, where they fell in love, where they reached their adult milestones.  Pamela Zee and Minh Huynh, a physician couple living in Moorestown, NJ, have turned their fondness for that place into a major philanthropic gift that will benefit future physicians and the city that was once their home-away-from-home.

“I’m so pleased that Pam and Minh, both of whom trained with me as residents, have chosen Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU) as the beneficiary of their $100,000 donation,” said Annette Reboli, MD, Vice Dean of CMSRU and the couple’s former Physical Diagnosis Professor at Cooper. “As a brand new medical school, we don’t yet have an alumni base to rely on for donations.  The fact that they have directed their gift to us is a testament to their devotion. They are truly an inspirational couple.”

Pam and Minh met on the first day of their internal medicine residency training.  Pam, a graduate of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Camden, was already familiar with the stellar faculty and excellent medical care at Cooper University Hospital.  Minh, who grew up and attended school in Iowa, chose Cooper for his residency as a chance to explore the country beyond his Midwestern roots. Thanks to a persistent “matchmaker” colleague and common schedules, they were fast friends and became a couple within of few months of starting their training.

Pam and Minh married after completing their residencies and both accepted positions with Cooper, she in the primary care group and he in occupational medicine. “That was when we decided to put down roots here,” said Pam. The two spent the next several years doing just that. They made every effort to support local businesses in Camden, from restaurants to flower shops. And even though they lived within walking distance of another hospital, both of their daughters were born at Cooper.

While both physicians have moved on, they continue to recognize the impact their days at Cooper had on their lives and their careers.  “Most of our adult milestones were reached at Cooper, in Camden,” explained Pam.  “We met, we completed our residencies, had our first jobs, and gave birth to our children there. Camden and Cooper are a huge part of our lives and always will be.”

Pam and Minh value charitable giving and were committed to giving a major gift supporting an initiative in Camden.  When it was announced that Cooper Medical School of Rowan University would be opening in Camden, they knew the school was exactly where they wanted to make a commitment. 

“We loved the idea that the school is in the City of Camden and that it would give back so much to the City that gave so much to us,” explained Minh. Pam adds, “We feel like this is our medical school, and we wanted to be among its first supporters.”

Pam and Minh have pledged $50,000 to Cooper Medical School of Rowan University over the next five years which will be matched by Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pam’s employer, for a grand total of $100,000. A 3rd floor Active Learning Room at CMSRU will be named in their family’s honor. The Bristol-Myers Squibb Company matches eligible employee gifts up to $30,000 per year per employee.