During 2019, there were many changes on the horizon for Drexel University’s College of Medicine. From announcing the move from Queen Lane to University City, acquiring St. Christopher’s Children’s Hospital and the beginning of construction of a new medical school branch in Reading, PA. Amongst these changes is a merger between Drexel College of Medicine and Tower Health Medical Group.
Tower Health Medical Group is a six-hospital system that operates across Pennsylvania. Locations include Reading Hospital, a teaching hospital based in West Reading; Brandywine Hospital in Coatesville; Chestnut Hill Hospital, a teaching hospital in Philadelphia; Jennersville Hospital in West Grove; Phoenixville Hospital in Phoenixville and Pottstown Hospital in Pottstown. Between these six hospitals and other facilities — such as a rehabilitation center and 22 urgent cares — Tower Health has more than 14,000 employees and serves about 2.5 million people.
As of Jan. 1, 2020, the merger between Drexel University and Tower Health became official. A total of 110 physicians and staff have moved from Drexel Medicine, including 52 physicians, 10 advanced practice clinicians and 48 support staff. The physicians joining the team specialize in family medicine, general surgery, breast surgery, cardiology, psychiatry, gastroenterology, neurology and rheumatology. Additionally, of the six Tower Health locations, the new staff will be working in centers in Philadelphia, Phoenixville and Reading. A member of the press release team said there may be a possibility of additional staff joining in the future.
President and CEO of Tower Health Medical Group Clint Matthews said, “We are pleased to have more than 100 new team members join Tower Health,” and added that “with the addition of their clinical expertise, we are continuing to fulfill our promise of advancing health and transforming lives for the patients and communities we serve.”
In Sept. 2019, Drexel University and Tower Health Medical Group entered a $50 million 20-year partnership that includes a new medical school campus in Reading, PA. The new campus is slated to open for the 2020-21 school year and house around 40 medical students. This change was accelerated after Hahnemann Hospital closed after filing for bankruptcy, displacing many Drexel University employees.
Part of this merger includes Drexel University and Tower Health Center’s purchase of St. Christopher’s Children Hospital in Philadelphia. A deal that took place on Dec. 15, 2019 will revitalize a hospital that previously also filed for bankruptcy. For Tower Health, this new acquisition means the ability to pay more attention to pediatric specialization, especially since the hospital serves around 70,000 children each year.
The completion of this merger is anticipated to be mutually beneficial for Drexel University’s College of Medicine, Tower Health Center and the patients. With more facilities and members, the expansion means more opportunities for medical school clinical rotations, more residency programs, synergies in clinical research and more patients served with better care.
Drexel and Tower Health will share the responsibilities of the hospital by tackling different responsibilities. Tower Health will conduct day-to-day operations of the hospital while Drexel oversees the medical education and residency programs.
In addition to these changes, Drexel University’s College of Medicine has recently announced that it will be shifting academic buildings. The locations at Queen Lane and Center City will be vacated in favor of a new 450,000 square feet building located in University City. This new building will begin construction in spring of 2020 and will also host Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions.