Metro Philadelphia: Coalition pledges to keep Chestnut Hill Hospital running

A coalition led by Temple Health has pledged to keep Chestnut Hill Hospital open as a full-service medical center.

Temple, Redeemer Health, and the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine announced a tentative agreement this week to purchase Chestnut Hill from Reading-based Tower Health, which closed two hospitals in Chester County less than a year ago.

Michael Young, Temple Health’s president and CEO, said Tuesday that the 148-bed hospital on Germantown Avenue “will remain a free-standing, licensed, acute-care hospital under a newly not-for-profit owned and controlled by the alliance.”

Temple is the majority partner and will manage the medical center under the name Temple Health-Chestnut Hill Hospital, officials said.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, and Young said he hopes the transaction will be finalized by the end of the year.

The agreement needs to be approved by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, Tower Health’s bond holders and the Orphans’ Court.

Representatives from PCOM, which has previously partnered with Chestnut Hill, said the alliance will strengthen the school’s academic ties to the hospital.

Redeemer Health, which operates Holy Redeemer Hospital in Montgomery County, specializes in elder care and women’s health and will bring that expertise to the coalition, said Michael B. Laign, the organization’s president and CEO.

“The recent uncertainty has created a little bit of angst, but the outcome here is something that is beyond expectations,” said Dr. John Cacciamani, Chestnut Hill’s president and CEO.

Congressman Dwight Evans, during a virtual news conference Tuesday afternoon, also praised the agreement and urged authorities to approve it.

“A few years ago, I pledged: No more Hahnemanns,” he said. “And since that time, I have worked diligently to ensure that.”

Hahnemann University Hospital, in Center City, closed in 2019, sparking outrage at the medical center’s owner, businessman Joel Freedman.

P. Sue Perrotty, president and CEO of Tower Health, said Tuesday that there was no plan to close Chestnut Hill. Rather, she told reporters, the organization “had decided that we would market it as part of our strategic realignment.”

Even so, state Sen. Art Haywood said he had heard from many hospital staff members who were worried for their jobs when Tower Health began trying to sell the medical center.

“In a very competitive marketplace, you do need a buyer,” said Haywood, who called the hospital “an integral part of our community.”

Tower Health closed Jennersville Hospital in December 2021 and Brandywine Hospital a month later.

Drexel University and Tower Health partnered in 2019 to acquire North Philadelphia’s St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, which had also been owned by Freedman’s group.