Ciresi slams latest Tower Health insult to Pottstown

POTTSTOWN, June 24 – Last week, executives of nonprofit Tower Health announced 1,000 layoffs company-wide, including the closure of the maternity unit at Pottstown Hospital. Since that time, executives have refused to meet to discuss the local impacts, according to state Rep. Joe Ciresi.

“These layoffs have been the latest blow to a community that has been rocked by Tower’s greed in recent years,” said Ciresi, D-Montgomery.

Before 2017, hospitals like Pottstown and Phoenixville operated as for-profits. As such, the Pottstown School District received over $900,000 annually in property taxes from Pottstown Hospital – the largest contribution to the school district that is underfunded by $13 million annually. But those revenues evaporated once the previous owner, Community Health Systems Inc., sold the hospital in 2017 to a nonprofit operator. It cost the Borough of Pottstown approximately $235,000 annually.

In 2019, the so-called nonprofit Pottstown Hospital laid off 32 people in the nursing unit, Ciresi said. Then came the massive layoffs of last week on the heels of a pandemic when the nation is honoring health care workers as heroes.

“Through a spokesman, President Clint Matthews declined to meet with me or discuss these decisions in detail,” Ciresi said. “How much in uncompensated care is the Pottstown Hospital providing, to justify its non-profit status? Our constituents deserve more than talking points from a hospital spokesman. It’s a shame.”