Tower Health opens Drexel medical school in Wyomissing

Officials from Tower Health and Drexel University cut the ribbon on the new Drexel University College of Medicine in Wyomissing. PHOTO/SUBMITTED –

Tower Health has officially opened its Drexel University College of Medicine in Wyomissing.

A ribbon cutting was held Tuesday at the new medical school campus at 50 Innovation Way.

“Our medical students have been receiving their clinical education at Reading Hospital through a long-standing academic affiliation agreement and have been making an impact on medical care in Berks County for decades,” said John Fry, president of Drexel University. “Our new campus will increase their engagement with both patients and the community, and provide greater opportunities to train and go on to be leaders in medicine, especially in areas in need of more physicians.”

The College of Medicine will welcome its first class of 40 first-year medical students on Aug. 2.

Students from Drexel medical school already receive training from faculty physicians at Tower Health’s Reading Hospital, which is about a mile from the school campus.

The new building has patient exam rooms, an anatomy laboratory, small group learning areas and simulation labs.

It was designed to enhance student life with a focus on student health and wellness and encourage immersive learning.

In the building the students have access to a fitness center, library, lounge areas, a game room and a café.

110 Drexel Medicine employees join Reading’s Tower Health Medical Group

As part of Tower Health’s recent partnership with Philadelphia’s Drexel University, 110 clinicians and staff from Drexel Medicine joined Tower Health Medical Group, effective Jan. 1.

Tower Health’s Reading HealthPlex in West Reading.  -file image

Accepting offers from Reading-based health network were 52 physicians, 10 advanced practice clinicians, and 48 support staff. More are expected to join in the near future, according to Tower Health.

“We are pleased to have more than 100 new team members join Tower Health,” said Clint Matthews, president and CEO of Tower Health, which signed a letter of intent to form the combined academic medicine physician practice in May of 2019.

Tower Health aims to expand the health network’s clinical footprint through the combined Drexel/Tower Health practice, and increase opportunities for medical student clinical rotations and for clinical research.

Tower Health, Drexel University to assume ownership of St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children

Tower Health and Drexel University have entered into an agreement to acquire St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. The 189-bed, 144 year old for-profit children’s hospital, located in the city of Philadelphia, was sold to the two organizations for $50 million.

The sale was approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware Sept. 24.

The sale is part of the process to resolve the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filed by American Academic Health Systems LLC, of which Center City Healthcare, owner and operator of St. Christopher’s, is a subsidiary.

Officials from Tower and Drexel plan on keeping the 144 year old hospital intact.

“Tower Health and Drexel are committed to the North Philadelphia community – including the more than 30,000 children who depend on the hospital for their primary care and the 70,000 children served annually by the hospital’s emergency department – as well as its growing network of primary and specialty care locations throughout the Philadelphia suburbs and New Jersey,” said Clint Matthews, president and CEO of Tower Health.

The hospital has served as a training site for Drexel University College of Medicine students for over 20 years. Drexel’s third and fourth year residents complete their hospital-based clinical rotations in pediatrics at St. Christopher’s.

Tower Health and Drexel will assume operations of the hospital prior to the end of the year, and plan on keeping all current operations at the hospital intact.

The new owners said that they expect the hospital’s owner transition to be “seamless.”



Tower Health to absorb Hahnemann’s displaced medical residents

Tower Health, the Berks County-based health network, has announced it will assume responsibility for the majority of resident physicians displaced by the closing of Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia, according to a press release.

Philadelphia Academic Health System, the owner of Hahnemann University Hospital, said on June 26th that the 171-year old, 495-bed hospital would close in September.

Under a letter of intent, Tower Health will continue the training of residents and fellows in Hahnemann’s programs, while giving physicians the right to be placed in one of Tower Health’s six hospitals, many of which are close to Hahnemann.

“We have been working hard with Drexel to find a solution for the residency and fellowship programs for everyone involved,” said Joel Freedman, president of Hahnemann. Freedman said the transfer will allow the residents to remain in the greater Philadelphia area and keep their training cohort intact.

Tower Health and Drexel University recently signed a 20-year agreement to establish a four-year regional campus of the Drexel University College of Medicine in West Reading near Reading Hospital. The campus is scheduled to open in 2021.

rendering of four-year regional campus of the Drexel University College of Medicine in West Reading near Reading Hospital. – submitted

“We welcome the residents and fellows to Tower Health and look forward to working with them,” said Clint Matthews, Tower Health’s president and CEO.

Tower Health will provide free on-site housing for physicians training at Reading Hospital, free meals while in any Tower Health hospital, and other amenities.

Tower Health will also seek to hire faculty who are currently training the residents and fellows to ensure continuity of Hahnemann and Drexel training programs.

“This is a natural next step in the growing relationship between Tower Health and Drexel University, which includes our recently announced 20-year academic affiliation and the initiative to explore combining the Tower Health Medical Group and Drexel University Physicians practices,” said John Fry, president of Drexel University.

The letter of intent has been submitted to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for approval. The proposed transfer is scheduled to be completed by Aug. 1, unless it takes longer to obtain the necessary governmental and regulatory approvals.

Tower Health, based in Reading, is a health network that includes six hospitals, 22 urgent care facilities and more than 12,000 employees.