Crozer Health, Prospect sued over plan to close Delaware County Memorial Hospital

The exterior of Delaware County Memorial Hospital in Drexel Hill

Delaware County Memorial Hospital in Drexel Hill. (DCMH/Facebook)

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The Foundation for Delaware County is taking Crozer Health and its parent company, Prospect Medical Holdings, to court over their plan to shut down Delaware County Memorial Hospital.

The nonprofit filed the petition with the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas on Wednesday with the support of the county. The party is seeking an emergency injunction to halt the closure.

Crozer Health, the struggling four-hospital system in Delaware County, has been cutting off vital services and closing wards for months. However, the situation escalated on Sept. 21 when Crozer announced that it was closing DCMH within 60 days as it transitions into a behavioral health facility.

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“Closing Delaware County Memorial would be catastrophic for our residents that have depended on its services for generations. And, over 300 high-quality jobs would be lost due to this hastily announced plan, developed without input from the County. It is an unacceptable course of action by Prospect Crozer, and the County remains committed to ensuring that the public health needs of our residents are a priority over the financial considerations of a for-profit corporation,” said Dr. Monica Taylor, the Delaware County Council Chairperson, in a written statement.

DCMH has been operating for more than 100 years. The county and the foundation believe that Crozer’s plan is a danger to public health and that it does not fall in line with an agreement that the Foundation reached with Prospect in 2016.

The Foundation for Delaware County currently holds legal standing in the matter, because of the sale of the Crozer-Keystone Health System to Prospect that shifted the system from a nonprofit to a for-profit entity. The stance of the Foundation and the county is that Prospect agreed to keep acute care services at its four hospitals open for a period of no less than 10 years.

In the legal petition, the Foundation said that the decision to close DCMH is “nothing short of a public health emergency.”

The county court has called for a hearing on Oct. 7 to decide the matter.

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