Tower Health to close 2 hospitals: A timeline of key events

West Reading, Pa.-based Tower Health has made the decision to close Jennersville Hospital in West Grove, Pa., on Dec. 31 and Brandywine Hospital in Coatesville, Pa., on Jan. 31, 2022.

Here is a timeline of key developments since the end of September, as reported by Becker's.

Sept. 28: Tower Health announces that it will close Jennersville Hospital and sell Chestnut Hill Hospital as part of a financial stabilization plan. It also says it will evaluate options for Brandywine Hospital. This comes after the system reported operating losses of more than $415 million in fiscal year 2020.

Oct. 14: A Chester County judge denies Tower Health's bid to get property tax exemptions for Brandywine Hospital, Jennersville Hospital and Phoenixville Hospital. Judge Jeffrey Sommer says operations at the facilities have become too similar to those at for-profit hospitals.

Nov. 15: Tower Health appeals the court's decision. "A recent trial court decision could have significant, long-term consequences for the financial models of Pennsylvania nonprofit healthcare providers," the attorneys wrote. "Ruling that three nonprofit Chester County hospitals of the Reading, Pa.-based nonprofit Tower Health system are not tax exempt 'charities,' a judge has ordered them to begin paying millions in annual local property taxes which fund local school districts."

Nov. 19: Several Chester County leaders start working to save Jennersville Hospital, including Cheryl Kuhn, president of the Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce, and Gary Smith, president and CEO of the Chester County Economic Development Council.

Nov. 22: Tower Health enters a definitive agreement to sell Jennersville Hospital and Brandywine Hospital to Austin, Texas-based Canyon Atlantic Partners. The deal would give the organization ownership and operation of the two facilities and would have taken effect Jan. 1, 2022.

Dec. 9: Tower Health decides to close Jennersville Hospital and Brandywine Hospital after calling off the proposed deal with Canyon Atlantic Partners. A memo sent to staff explained the deal fell through because the organization was unable to demonstrate that it could effectively take over the two hospitals. 

Dec. 15: Residents of the county begin signing a petition on change.org to keep the hospitals open. So far, more than 6,000 people have signed the petition.

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