ChristianaCare made the right decision in acquiring the Jennersville Hospital site from financially troubled Tower Health.
Tower Health has closed and sold off hospitals after a failed effort to build a regional healthcare system from its home base in Reading, PA. Barring any last-minute hitches, closing is expected in the next month or two.
The southern Chester site has been shuttered since the end of the year, leaving a void in a vulnerable area of southern Chester County
The growing area north of Newark has a sizable population of retirees, many from DuPont, and other Delaware employers. The closing led to concern in the emergency medical community about a longer ambulance ride to the two nearest hospitals, the ChristianaCare Newark and Penn Medicine’s West Chester hospital.
With 63 beds, Jennersville may be too small to economically operate as a general hospital, although ChristianaCare has experience in that area thanks to the merger with Elkton’s 72-bed Union Hospital.
Emergency services will be a priority.
“We know that the loss of emergency services because of the closing of Jennersville Hospital is a significant concern of the community. Restoring local availability of emergency services is a top priority,” a ChristianaCare spokesman stated. We are engaged with community leaders and listening to the community so that we can develop a plan that meets their needs.”
One model is ChristianaCare’s Middletown site, which has an emergency center The fast-growing city is the largest in the state without a hospital. Advances in technology may postpone the day when a hospital is built. Meanwhile, ChristianaCare has plenty of acreage for a hospital at the Middletown site.
ChritianaCare also has two helicopters at its disposal for serious cases. That copter fleet could grow if a planned merger with Delaware County’s Crozier system goes through. In Delaware, ChristianaCare is aided by the State Police helicopter fleet, which handles many trauma cases.
The Crozier agreement is now in the due diligence phase and comes with a lot of moving parts since the seller is a for-profit company and ChristianaCare is a nonprofit.
The merger would make ChristianaCare (2020 revenues $1.8 billion) a formidable player in a rapidly consolidating hospital-healthcare industry in the Delaware Valley.
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