Pennsylvania hospital to close, lay off 694 if sale collapses

Steward Health Care will close Easton (Pa.) Hospital and lay off its 694 workers in June if it's unable to sell the facility, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notice filed with the state. 

Steward, a for-profit hospital system based in Dallas, signed a letter of intent in February to sell Easton Hospital to Bethlehem, Pa.-based St. Luke's University Health System. Officials said the layoff notice was filed with the state to prepare for the unlikely event that the transaction doesn't close. 

"While it is our sincere hope and belief that that the transaction will be concluded, we also want to let you know that, in the unlikely event that the transaction does not occur, we will have no alternative but to close the hospital," Easton Hospital President Linda Grass wrote in the notice, according to The Morning Call

In March, Steward said Easton Hospital had faced financial challenges for months and was on the brink of closing after canceling profitable elective surgeries in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company sent a letter to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf seeking $40 million to keep the hospital open through the end of June to provide care to COVID-19 patients, according to the report. The governor agreed to provide $8 million to keep the hospital open through April. 

Access the full article from The Morning Call here

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