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Closure of St. Francis leaves Trenton with one available hospital

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | September 29, 2022
Business Affairs
The closure of St. Francis Medical Center will leave only one available hospital in Trenton. (Photo courtesy of St. Francis Medical Center)
The City of Trenton in New Jersey may soon have only one hospital available to serve the needs of its 90,000 residents.

Capital Health agreed to acquire St. Francis Medical Center from Trinity Health back in January. If approved, the deal would result in certain services provided by St. Francis being transferred to Capital Health Regional Medical Center, remaining at the St. Francis building for a short time or being relocated to another site, while the rest would be eliminated, reported NJ Advance Media.

Located in the city’s East Ward, the financially struggling hospital serves poor, underserved and older populations. Many of these patients have limited transport for getting across town to Capital Health Regional Medical Center. They also most likely would have to schedule appointments online, a challenge for those without smartphones and computers.

“We used to actually have three hospitals. Now we’re down to two. And if they close their doors, we’ll just have one,” said Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora in a statement.

Opened nearly 150 years ago, St. Francis was the first hospital in Trenton, but would require a complete overhaul to stay open.

A St. Francis spokeswoman said some services such as a satellite emergency department could continue there in the short term. Additionally, Capital Health would receive St. Francis’ certificate of need for cardiac care, a state requirement for offering cardiac and trauma care.

Trinity Health, in Michigan, will retain ownership of the property but plans to demolish the facility once it is no longer needed, said the spokeswoman.

City Council President Kathy McBride said closing the hospital will “cause the loss of hundreds of hospital jobs and have a direct negative [effect] on local businesses, causing a downward spiral and additional loss of jobs.”

Gusciora says that Capital Health will take “up to three-quarters” of St. Francis’ employees.

“We anticipate some services, such as a satellite emergency department and some ambulatory services, will continue at the current St. Francis Medical Center site short term with the intention of ultimately developing a new satellite emergency department near the current St. Francis campus,” said Capital Health.

The deal still requires approval, including from the New Jersey Department of Health.

Financial details were not disclosed.

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