Four Philadelphia-based academic healthcare organizations —Einstein Healthcare Network, Jefferson Health, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) and Temple Health—today announced the creation of a consortium to collectively negotiate with American Academic Health System (AAHS) the purchase of St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and its assets.
The 188-bed teaching hospital was included in a recent voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, along with Hahnemann University Hospital, by parent company Philadelphia Academic Health System, a subsidiary of AAHS.
The four consortium institutions intend to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) to AAHS for the purpose of enabling St. Christopher’s to continue its mission of caring for the underserved children of our community. St. Christopher’s has one of the country’s busiest emergency departments for children, as well as a network of primary and specialty care locations throughout the Philadelphia suburbs and New Jersey. All consortium institutions have academic affiliations with St. Christopher’s, either for training physicians, nurses or other allied health professions.
“In a time of difficult transition for health care in Philadelphia, four healthcare organizations stepping up to do what’s right by St. Christopher’s patients is truly emblematic of neighbors helping neighbors,” said Achintya Moulick, MD, M. Ch, MBA, Chief Medical Officer at St. Christopher's as well as chairman of Cardiothoracic Surgery. “This will ensure continuity of care and service to the children of the community it serves, especially the underserved population. The faculty, staff and medical leadership at St. Christopher’s Hospital will be thrilled with the possibilities this could hold for the future of the hospital and allow them to continue delivering excellent care to the patients that come through the doors of this hospital.”
The leaders of Einstein, Jefferson, PCOM and Temple underscored the importance and impact of protecting pediatric care options, especially for underserved populations, in Philadelphia.
"St. Christopher's Hospital for Children is an essential provider of healthcare services for the children in the Philadelphia region. Einstein has a long history with St. Christopher's providing joint programming, healthcare services and training programs," said Barry R. Freedman, President and Chief Executive Officer for Einstein Healthcare Network. "We understand the significance of their presence in an area of Philadelphia that already has limited access to quality healthcare services for children. It is Einstein's obligation to step forward, along with our colleagues at Temple, Jefferson and PCOM to save this precious asset. As one voice, this group of community-minded, mission-driven healthcare organizations will do what we can to keep St. Christopher’s open, to continue serving those most in need, those most vulnerable and those most underserved, Philadelphia's children."
"This remarkable consortium is a bright light in an otherwise dark moment in Philadelphia healthcare that would bring together four key nonprofits to safeguard children in our community,” said Stephen K. Klasko, MD, MBA, President of Thomas Jefferson University and CEO of Jefferson Health. “It will stabilize care for the underserved as together we represent the great majority of admissions to St. Christopher’s. It will stabilize pediatric residencies for all of us, and medical students for three of the partners. It allows us to work with a children’s hospital partner, as needed. And our proposal recognizes the mayor, governor and state legislature’s commitment to support St. Christopher’s due to its importance to Philadelphia, the region and providing the best possible care for every child that needs it.”
“PCOM is committed to improving community health through compassionate care and a rigorous education for future healthcare providers,” said PCOM President and CEO Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81. “By partnering with these like-minded institutions, we have the unique opportunity to ensure St. Christopher’s remains a sustainable entity for providing world-renowned pediatric care for patients and exceptional training for health care professionals.”
“The St. Chris story, inextricable from Philadelphia’s and Temple’s, is a living legacy that predates Waldo Nelson – the father of pediatrics – who chaired Temple pediatrics as medical director at St. Chris for nearly three decades starting in 1940. We in this consortium have an extraordinary stake in the health and welfare of children of Philadelphia and in the training of pediatricians. St. Chris is part of a Philadelphia family legacy. It needs to stay that way,” said Larry R. Kaiser, MD, FACS, The Lewis Katz Dean at the School of Medicine, Senior Executive Vice President for Health Affairs at Temple University, and President and CEO of Temple University Health System.