State orders Hahnemann University Hospital to halt diversion of trauma patients

Pennsylvania’s secretary of health has ordered Hahnemann University hospital cease and desist any actions to eliminate emergency services until the required 90-day notice is filed.

MORE: Hahnemann University Hospital to close in September, citing losses

Just as the loud rally to save Hahnemann wrapped up at City Hall, Gov. Wolf made his move. His health secretary issued a cease and desist order to Hahnemann’s CEO, ordering him to stop any efforts to close the Center City hospital or cut its services, especially the emergency room.

"I don’t know how you shut down a Level 1 trauma center. We get gunshots, strokes, heart attacks every day.  Seconds matter with that. I don’t know where these people would go," Emergency room tech Juila Maccarone said. 

The order comes one day after Hahnemann’s embattled president Joel Freedman announced the 496-bed hospital would close Sep. 6.

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City officials fear hospital leadership may stop ambulances from coming to the ER as soon Friday, creating what the cease and desist calls. “...irreparable harm to the health and safety of patients in the city...”

Freedman claims Hahnemann Is losing millions monthly, but Mayor Jim Kenney says he’s never backed it up with numbers. Workers say they’re being squeezed. The hospital’s 2,500 person workforce is fearful for their futures.

"We may not have his bank account, but we sure to control the city hall and if you’re going to sell this building you have to go through us first," city councilmember Helen Gym said.