Delco officials ask judge to halt Delaware County Memorial Hospital ICU, ER closure

Prospect Crozer plans to convert the hospital into a behavioral health facility
The emergency department entrance at Delaware County Memorial Hospital. Photo credit NBC10

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Delaware County officials are asking a judge to stop planned changes to Delaware County Memorial Hospital in Drexel Hill and the closure of its ICU and emergency department, and a court hearing over the matter has been scheduled for next week.

The current owners plan to turn it into a behavioral health facility, including 100 beds offering crisis care, rehab and detox, and inpatient acute psychiatric care.

In a joint statement with The Foundation for Delaware County, county officials say California-based Prospect Crozer broke the terms of the sale when it bought the hospital from Crozer-Keystone Health System in 2016.

They say Prospect Crozer agreed to operate the hospital for no less than 10 years.

“Closing Delaware County Memorial would be catastrophic for our residents that have depended on its services for generations,” Delaware County Council Chair Dr. Monica Taylor said.

County officials noted the move would cost 334 jobs, and that Prospect Crozer sent a letter to employees that “includes a target date of November 26, meaning that many employees may face termination on the Saturday of the Thanksgiving holiday.”

Prospect Crozer says the changes to their network across Delaware County will provide better access to all patients while addressing the changing nature of health care.

The company plans to convert Springfield Hospital to an outpatient facility by the end of this year, with services including urgent care, advanced surgical care, rehabilitation and diagnostic imaging, as well as primary and specialty care physician practices, all of which do not require the patient being admitted.

Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland and Taylor Hospital in Ridley Park will continue to provide acute medical care.

The Delaware County Court of Common Pleas has ordered that a hearing be held on Friday, Oct. 7 to decide the matter.

Jim Melwert contributed to this report.

Featured Image Photo Credit: NBC10