Tower Health approved for transplant surgeries

The Tower Health Transplant Institute has received the necessary regulatory approvals from UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing) and the Department of Health to begin performing transplant surgeries.

The Tower Health Transplant Institute is the present home of the former Hahnemann University Hospital kidney and liver transplant program. Philadelphia-based Hahnemann University Hospital announced in June that it would close due to financial difficulties, and the Hahneman transplant team joined with the Reading-based Tower Health Network in September.

“The approvals from UNOS and the Department of Health is fantastic news for Tower Health, our patients, and the community,” said Clint Matthews, president and CEO of Tower Health in a news release. “We are honored to bring this award-winning team and its renowned physicians and staff to the communities we serve. It is a true display of the relentless pursuit of excellence in all that we do.”

The Tower Health Transplant Institute and Center for Liver Diseases is in place for transplant surgery, hepatology, and nephrology inpatient services at Reading Hospital, selected inpatient services at Chestnut Hill Hospital, and outpatient services at Reading Hospital and in Center City Philadelphia.

Kidney and liver transplants will be performed at the Reading Hospital HealthPlex, bringing kidney and liver transplant services to Berks County for the first time.

“We are thrilled to have the transplant program, and all that it brings to our patients and communities, be part of Tower Health,” said David Reich, MD, Medical Director and Chief Surgeon, Tower Health Transplant Institute. “This is an extraordinary way for us to deliver on our promise of advancing health and transforming lives.”


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.