Philadelphia hospital closure a 'national warning sign,' Jefferson Health CEO says

The president and CEO of Philadelphia-based Jefferson Health said the bankruptcy and impending closure of Philadelphia's Hahnemann University Hospital is "a local tragedy and a national warning sign."

Stephen Klasko, MD, made the remarks in an Aug. 13 op-ed published by The Philadelphia Inquirer. Dr. Klasko, who completed his medical school training at Hahnemann and led its affiliated Drexel University Physicians as CEO for four years in the early 2000s, said the community loss is "obvious."

"The demise of a provider that patients rely on, the loss of jobs for dedicated employees including physicians and nurses, orphaned medical residents, and the forfeiture of an important site for Drexel University College of Medicine" are some of the losses affecting the community, he wrote.

Hahnemann filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection July 1. The hospital is slated to close Sept. 6.

Dr. Klasko called on leaders to "not just treat the symptom" of hospital closures like Hahnemann's, "but to look for its underlying cause."

"I believe that approach applies now — not just to what happened at Hahnemann, but also to how we maintain the greater Philadelphia area as an academic-medical-center region of excellence while fulfilling our mission of caring for the underserved," he wrote.

Read the full op-ed here.

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