Drexel University, Tower Health win bid to acquire St. Christopher's

Pat Loeb
September 20, 2019 - 9:37 am
Saint Christopher's Hospital

Shara Dae Howard/KYW Newsradio

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UPDATED: 6:40 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — St. Christopher's Hospital for Children will stay in local hands if a bankruptcy judge approves a deal worked out early Friday morning after hours of negotiation. Drexel University and Tower Health won the auction to acquire the North Philadelphia pediatric hospital.

St. Christopher's current owner, Academic Health systems, says Drexel University and Tower Health have agreed to pay $50 million for the 144-year old pediatric hospital and affirmed their commitment to keep it intact and assume operations as quickly as possible.

Related: Drexel, Tower Health make bid to buy St. Christopher's Hospital for Children

The sale now goes to a hearing in bankruptcy court scheduled for Monday.

Drexel University President John Fry first announced the deal in a letter to faculty, calling it "excellent news." He sent out the letter Friday morning, telling the university community that Drexel and Tower Health have entered into an agreement to buy the hospital. He did not disclose the terms, saying the agreement had yet to be finalized. KPC Global of California had also bid on the hospital, which is part of the Hahnemann bankruptcy filing. 

Fry said in his letter that Drexel and Tower would be equal partners in ownership of the hospital but that Tower would take the lead in day-to-day operations. 

The nonprofit Tower also owns Chestnut Hill Hospital and five others in nearby counties. Fry said the university would also support the hospital's growing network of primary and specialty care locations in the suburbs. Drexel will continue to send its pediatric medicine students to St. Christopher's for training, which was the key motivation for acquiring the hospital, according to the letter.

Fry said the hospital serves an important role in providing care to children in the city's most vulnerable neighborhoods and the university is committed to keeping that legacy intact.