ChristianaCare to open ‘micro-hospital’ in Jennersville
WILMINGTON — ChristianaCare plans on opening its West Grove, Pa., Campus in late 2024, complete with a neighborhood hospital with a total of 20 beds for inpatient and emergency treatment.
The former Jennersville hospital in southern Chester County, Pa., was closed by Tower Health in December 2021 and acquired by ChristianaCare in mid-2022 for $8 million. It marked one of the first significant brick-and-mortar expansions of Delaware’s largest health care system made in Pennsylvania.
“We are excited to share our plans to restore important, local health care resources to the southern Chester County community,” ChristianaCare President CEO Dr. Janice Nevin said in a statement. “We are committed to our neighbors in southern Chester County for the long-term, serving them as expert, caring partners in their health.”
The West Grove campus will be styled as a neighborhood hospital, complete with 10 emergency department beds and 10 inpatient beds. The emergency department will be equipped to handle traditional emergency incidents like falls, injuries, heart attacks and strokes.
Restoring emergency services was the first priority outlined by Nevin and other ChristianaCare officials last year when the deal was finalized. But in the last nine months, ChristianaCare officials have been hosting listening sessions with the West Grove community to understand their needs.
To that end, ChristianaCare opted to open a “micro-hospital,” or an acute care hospital that offers emergency services as well as a narrow scope of inpatient services.
“After listening to the needs of the community and an extensive review of historical and projected demographic data, we believe this neighborhood hospital model will provide the right mix of health care services for the West Grove Campus in a way that is sustainable and meets the community’s most immediate needs today,” ChristianaCare Chief Wellness Officer Dr. Heather Farley added. “It also sets us up to grow in meeting more of the community’s needs in the future.”
Other services to be offered include behavioral health emergency care and provide diagnostic capabilities including ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), X-ray and lab services. ChristianaCare also expects to share its network of support services like neurology and cardiology through virtual visits.
Chester County and Pennsylvania awarded a combined $5 million for facility upgrades. Reopening of the hospital is tentatively set for late 2024, though that may depend on renovations and build-out of a new information technology infrastructure.
In a recent interview with Delaware Business Times, Nevin did not commit to further expansion through facilities outside already acquired assets, though she acknowledged growth was needed to be sustainable.
“When we look at Southern Chester County, what are the health care needs of the community? What access do they have? Are there gaps that might make sense for us to fill?” Nevin said.
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