Northeastern Hospital closes

    Today, Pennsylvania’s health inspectors will oversee Northeastern Hospital’s transition to an outpatient center. The hospital closed midnight last night after about 100 years of treating Philadelphia residents.

    Today, Pennsylvania’s health inspectors will oversee Northeastern Hospital’s transition to an outpatient center. The hospital closed midnight last night after about 100 years of treating Philadelphia residents.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090626kghospital.mp3]

    With a $6.5 million dollar loss last year, Temple Health System decided Northeastern Hospital was no longer economically viable. After a one-day pause in care, a new ambulatory center will open in the hospital’s place on Tuesday. Northeastern’s CEO John Buckley says the transition should improve Temple’s finances, while also providing many of the area’s medical needs.

    Buckley: I think things have been going very very well. It’s difficult, It’s emotional, there’s a lot of challenging things from a management standpoint that we’ve gone through.

    Such as leaving more than 400 people without jobs. Buckley says the main push recently has been to alert people in the region to the changes.

    Buckley: We’ve had face to face meetings. we’ve had billboards, we’ve had brochures developed, we’ve had signs made throughout the hospital, our particular focus has been really making sure the community understands we will no longer have an emergency department.

    A local nurses group has criticized the decision to close the hospital, saying patients will be at risk without an emergency department in the neighborhood. The nearest ER is about two miles away. Jerry Silberman is with the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals. He says that the job market for nurses is not as good as it was a few months ago, but it’s not a crisis.

    Silberman: Any nurse who wants to find a job will find one in a very reasonable amount of time. It’s the other employees that will have much more difficulty. The unskilled employees, the service and maintenance employees.

    Patients needing emergency care will be routed to six other area ERs.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.