State installs temporary manager to oversee final months of operation for Hahnemann

Paul Kurtz
July 03, 2019 - 4:53 pm
Hahnemann University Hospital

Holli Stephens/KYW Newsradio, file

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — In a move to help with the transition of closing Hahnemann University Hospital, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine has installed a temporary manager to oversee the process.

The temporary manager will oversee operations at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children too, which is also owned by American Academic Health System. Levine said the owners have voluntarily agreed to the decision.

We will be working collaboratively with the hospital, and our temporary manager will be my representative at Hahnemann to make sure the staffing needs are met and all patient care needs are met," she said.

The temporary manager, Pinnacle Healthcare Consulting, will remain in place until the department determines it is no longer necessary. It enables the department to "immediately access information regarding the needs of patients and staff at both locations," and continue the closure process smoothly.

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The cease and desist order from the state is still in effect.

While Levine was meeting with ownership and administrators inside Hahnemann Wednesday, an elderly woman with a walker was knocked over by a slow-moving car, attempting to park right outside the hospital. The driver, Christopher Yates, was rattled. 

"Just making sure she's OK, first off; making sure she's all right, nothing's broken," he said.

The irony wasn't lost on anyone who watched an ambulance crew place the victim on a stretcher and zip right past Hahnemann's emergency room, which is no longer an active trauma center.

Woman hit by car outside Hahnemann
Paul Kurtz/KYW Newsradio

During the long holiday weekend, Levine said the ER staff will do the best they can. 

"Of course if there was an emergency right in front of the hospital, they will triage that patient. But because they can longer be a trauma center, then they would be triaged, stabilized and transferred to another hospital," she said.

Meanwhile, protesters showed up again at the hospital. This time, a small group of residents demanding Hahnemann release government funds they need to transfer to other facilities. 

"They are not able to train our residents without that funding," said protester Shelley George. "We are worried that if we wait any longer, that funding will be tied up elsewhere and our residents will be stuck without spots."

Levine said that matter may have to be sorted out in bankruptcy court.