Local lawmakers, attorneys say there is still hope for reopening Chester County hospitals – Daily Local News

CALN — There was a great deal of hope, along with much talk of work to be done, at a press conference to discuss reopening of Brandywine and Jennersville hospitals.
After a $16.5 million sale fell through between owner, Reading-based Tower Health, and buyer, Texas-based Canyon Atlantic Partners, Chester County Court of Common Pleas Judge Edward Griffith called for enforcement of the contract to sell the buildings.
It was the hope of those who spoke at the virtual meeting that both sides could work together in a bid to reopen the hospitals. The sale is not a done deal.
The closings have left a heatlhcare void. Some former Jennersville and Brandywine patients are forced to travel 40 minutes for emergency care, while patients at an overloaded Chester County Hospital emergency room sometimes experience up to 10-hour wait times.
Tower will grant access to Canyon Atlantic, which will have 90 days to evaluate the condition of the hospitals to determine what steps must be taken.
“We have a great deal of confidence that we have a contract to purchase the hospitals,” said attorney Benjamin Post of Post & Post LLC, which represents Canyon Atlantic.
Post said that government entities, communities, citizens of the county, and various foundations support collaboration and Tower’s help to reopen the hospitals.
“We are trying to get both sides working together in a productive manner,” David McKeighan, president of the Chester County Medical Society said.
“We want to once again establish good care, good critical care. It is not a matter of us versus anyone,” said Michael DellaVecchia, immediate past president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society.
Judge Griffith gave Tower 90 days to evaluate the hospitals and determine what steps must be taken to complete the real estate transaction.
“There are a lot of moving parts,” Post said. “Ninety days is not a lot of time.
“We are in uncharted water.”
The judge also asked Canyon Atlantic to post a $1 million bond.
Post said that the judge’s requirement of a million-dollar bond would ensure that Canyon Atlantic has the “financial wherewithal to continue.”
State Rep. Dan Williams, D-74th of Sadsbury, said in January that some county residents would die due to the long travel times.
“The judgement puts us back on track,” Williams said on Tuesday. “I hope they are opened sooner rather than later.”
Post said he was unable to give a date on when the hospitals might possibly reopen.
Finding staffing and whether or not the equipment had been “stripped” and sold are major concerns prior to reopening.
Speakers at the virtual meeting lamented the loss of the 64-bed behavioral/psychiatric health clinic which was located at Brandywine, especially as residents are challenged during the ongoing pandemic. It was the only facility of its type in the county.
Upon reopening, Brandywine might reach out further, with a community center and programs for the very young to the elderly.
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