Lawsuit would block Pa. health center closings

Posted: April 03, 2013

A labor union, five members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, and five community health nurses sued Gov. Corbett and his administration in Commonwealth Court Monday to block a plan to close 26 of the state's 60 public health centers operated by the Department of Health.

The plan would eliminate 73 jobs, including 26 community health nurses, SEIU Healthcare PA, the labor union, said in a news release.

The petitioners said the closures would violate the Pennsylvania Constitution and Pennsylvania law. Acting Secretary of Health Michael Wolf said he received the lawsuit Tuesday afternoon and could not comment on it, but he reiterated his support for consolidation.

"We don't believe we should be tethered to a particular site. We believe we should get into the community more," Wolf said. For example, he said, during the winter the state health department ran a drive-through flu clinic in a Tinicum, Delaware County, fire hall.

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