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Tower Health Takes Over Sunday At PMMC

POTTSTOWN PA – The sale documents are signed. The money has already been transferred, and as of Sunday (Oct. 1, 2017), Pottstown Memorial Medical Center (PMMC), 1600 E. High St., will be under ownership and control of the Reading Health System, now with a new brand name of Tower Health.

Tower announced Friday (Sept. 29) it had formally completed the asset purchase of PMMC and four other regional hospitals from subsidiaries of Tennessee-based Community Health Systems. Other facilities included in the acquisition are Phoenixville Hospital, 140 Nutt Rd., Phoenixville; Brandywine Hospital in Coatesville, Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia, and Jennersville Hospital in West Grove.

The value of the deal, which first became public in May, has not been disclosed. The purchase was financed in part by a $650 million bond approved during August (2017) for issue by the Berks County Industrial Development Authority.

An asset purchase typically involves only buildings, equipment, and other material items. Unions representing personnel at PMMC earlier reported they are still waiting to talk with Tower Health representatives about the status of their existing or prospective labor agreements, which were not transferred with the sale.

The hospitals’ sales holds property tax implications too. Tower Health is a non-profit entity, and as such the real estate its obtains in the purchase will likely become exempt and go off the tax rolls in the borough of Pottstown and the Pottstown School District, both have publicly feared.

Tower also operates the Reading Hospital Rehabilitation in Wyomissing, and Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences; Reading HealthPlex, an advanced surgical center; Tower Health Medical Group, a network of primary and specialty providers; Tower Health Partners, a clinically integrated network; and the Tower Health/UPMC Health Plan. Tower said it employs more than 11,000 people.

Together, according to its release, Tower Health’s six hospitals and other entities will provide a full range of medical care: prevention, screenings and education, clinical services and surgeries, and rehabilitation. The hospitals have received national recognition for advanced care in areas such as neurosurgery and stroke, cardiac and vascular surgery, trauma, hematology and oncology, it added.

“We are coming together to create an even more dynamic, expansive and nationally recognized health system,” said Clint Matthews, Tower’s president and chief operating officer.

Tower’s six hospitals will jointly hold ceremonies Monday (Oct. 2) at noon to recognize the company’s re-branding and launch. The Pottstown event will be led by PMMC President and CEO Rich Newell; the Phoenixville launch will be headed by its president and CEO, Steve Tullman. Both are expected to be accompanied by Tower representatives.

File photo from The Post Publications; logo from Tower Health

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