Chestnut Hill Hospital receives State grant for infrastructure upgrades

by Walt Maguire
Posted 9/24/21

Chestnut Hill Hospital received a $500,000 grant from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP). The bulk of the money will go into a $1 million project to replace the HVAC unit on the main building.

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Chestnut Hill Hospital receives State grant for infrastructure upgrades

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Chestnut Hill Hospital received a $500,000 grant from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP). The bulk of the money will go into a $1 million project to replace the HVAC unit on the main building.

The hospital, a member of Tower Health, was allocated the grant in 2020 to construct a new Women’s Center building. In June 2021, the hospital’s main HVAC unit failed, which put the hospital in jeopardy of closing. It installed a temporary HVAC unit to continue serving patients without interruption. The funds were reallocated to the new, permanent HVAC unit, a move that required approval from RACP. Installation on the new rooftop unit is expected to be complete in December 2021.

Administered by the Office of the Budget, RACP is a Commonwealth grant program that supports regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects.

At a press conference Wednesday, September 15, State Senator Art Haywood (D-Montgomery/Philadelphia) presented the ceremonial check to Dr. John Cacciamani, Chestnut Hill Hospital President and CEO.

Sen. Haywood cited the overall high rating of the hospital, and more recent activities treating COVID-19 patients and facilitating vaccinations both at the hospital and at events in the area. “This hospital saves lives not just with vaccinations, but with the actual surgeries and other procedures that are done here,” said Haywood. Referencing recent financial difficulties for the parent health system, he added “I’m glad to be an advocate for the hospital when there were concerns about the financial position of Tower Health, and what those implications could be for this hospital, and this community.”

Tower Health recently announced an alliance agreement with Penn Medicine, expanding on the Penn services already available on the Chestnut Hill Hospital campus.

Haywood pointed out the additional role the hospital plays in the economic health of the region. “We know that this work will contribute to jobs for electricians, roofers and carpenters, sheet metal workers, all of which we hope will be connecting the folks who live and work in the community,” said Haywood. “This is a tremendous opportunity to invest in each other.”

Dr. Cacciamani thanked Sen. Haywood for his support, and mentioned others who had assisted, such as State Representatives Chris Rabb and Stephen Kinsey, Councilwoman Cindy Bass, and Congressman Dwight Evans. He turned his focus to the pandemic and its impact on the community.

“Vaccinations work,” he said. “Please get vaccinated. It’s probably the most important thing for our community.” He added that in the rare event of a breakthrough infection, “the likelihood of hospitalizations, severe disease or even death goes profoundly down.” Statistics released September 14 by the Pennsylvania Department of Health indicated that statewide breakthrough cases accounted for less than 6% of hospitalizations and less than 3% of deaths.

Cacciamani said the repairs would allow the hospital to continue “to be able to deliver health care in a safe and effective way, including helping coordinate our vaccine clinics. We here at Chestnut Hill [Hospital] have vaccinated thousands of patients, and hopefully we've protected lives. I encourage everyone to continue to get vaccinated, it saves lives. And now with new variants, it's going to complicate the issues.” At that moment, there were 15 patients in their COVID ward, and three in the ICU, with two on ventilators.

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