Tower Health, a regional Pennsylvania health care system, issued a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notice this week in anticipation of closing one of its hospitals. It is one of many financial moves the system is making.
“Early in the pandemic, the government mandated the shutdown of all nonessential health care services,” Richard Wells, Tower Health communications and government relations director told The Epoch Times in a phone interview. “It had a huge negative impact on our financial performance.”
The closing of the 63-bed Jennersville Hospital in West Grove was originally announced in late September. A WARN notice must be issued by an employer through the Department of Labor 60 days before a mass layoff, described as 50 or more workers. It gives employees time to search for new work and to work with unemployment offices.
Tower Health will lay off 293 workers by Dec. 31 at Jennersville Hospital, Jennersville Family Medicine, West Grove of PA Associates, and West Grove Clinic. Jennersville Hospital had been underperforming financially before the pandemic, Wells said, but the entire system suffered during the pandemic.
The health care system is also transferring ownership of Chestnut Hill Hospital and more than a dozen Tower Health urgent care centers to Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic; and forming an alliance with Penn Medicine which will develop over time, Wells said.
“Tower Heath remains independent,” Well said. “We are in the midst of a financial turnaround. We have had to take a number of actions to close out our operating losses.”
In June 2020, the health system cut 1,000 jobs and closed the maternity ward at Pottstown Hospital in Montgomery County.
The system ended fiscal year 2020 with a $436.9 million operating loss and reported a $445.7 million operating loss in fiscal 2021, which ended June 30.
Tower Health, based in West Reading, had operated seven hospitals before the changes. It will continue to operate St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, a partnership of Tower Health and Drexel University in Philadelphia, and the system is working with local and state agencies and organizations to help secure St. Christopher’s long-term future.
In addition, Tower Health is continuing to evaluate options to determine and define the future of Brandywine Hospital in a way that best meets community needs.