It’s been a red brick eyesore for 18 months since January 2021, but now, finally, plans are in place to bring Brandywine Hospital back from the dead.
Run by Tower Health, Brandywine Hospital closed its doors nearly two years ago, costing the Coatesville community 800 jobs and the loss of a dedicated medical center. At the time, a deal was in place to sell that building, along with nearby Jennersville Hospital in West Grove, to Canyon Atlantic Partners, based in Austin, Texas.
By March of that year though, the deal had fallen through, and both Coatesville and West Grove were left with the husks of formerly bustling hospitals.
Perhaps that failure proved to be a blessing though, after a saga in which Canyon Atlantic had been criticized for lacking “regulatory and operations preparedness” and also “financial ability to complete the transaction and operate the hospitals.”
As of late-June 2023, Tower Health has, in principle, agreed to a deal that will see Brandywine Hospital acquired by Penn Medicine.
With an already established presence in the area, Penn Medicine is an organization in which communities like Coatesville can rest their confidence. Operating in the region for decades without any major hiccups, Brandywine Hospital is now in strong hands. Notably, Penn Medicine was one of very few health systems in the region to open the first half of the 2023 fiscal year with an operating profit.
Though there are no plans for the deal to close until the end of 2023, locals can be much more confident about this proposal than the Canyon Atlantic deal some years ago.
Plans for the new hospital are still amorphous, so there’s plenty of time left for blueprints to change given that it will be many months before Brandywine Hospital again opens its doors.
One seemingly obvious option is to once again operate a freestanding ER. Other ideas include an expanded Veterans Affairs medical facility. It’s an especially enticing plan after the VA medical centers in Philadelphia and Chester County were recommended for closure last year by the Asset and Infrastructure Review Committee.
Though there is plenty of time for plans to change, deals to fall through and Murphy’s Law to come into effect, this is a welcome step for the Coatesville community. The CEO of Penn Medicine officially signed a letter of intent to acquire the hospital from Tower Health on Wednesday, July 28, putting next steps into motion.
While those plans could come to fruition by December 2023 or even end up pushed back to 2024, one thing is certain. Brandywine Hospital can look to the future instead of sticking to a checkered past.
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