November 19, 2015 |
In a deal worth nearly $1 billion to founder Peter McCausland, Airgas Inc., a Radnor distributor of industrial gases and related goods, has agreed to a $10.3 billion takeover by French giant Air Liquide, the two companies said Tuesday. The deal comes five years after McCausland survived a bitter takeover fight with Allentown's Air Products & Chemicals Inc., which wanted to buy Airgas for as much as $5.9 billion, or $70 a share, before giving up in February 2011 after a court loss. Paris-based Air Liquide agreed to pay Airgas shareholders $143 a share, a 50 percent premium to Airgas' close Thursday, the last day of trading before speculation about a deal started driving Airgas shares up. Airgas shares closed at $137.35 on Tuesday, up $31.17, or 29 percent Including debt, the deal is worth $13.4 billion, according to Air Liquide, which has a corporate hub in Houston, a research and development center in Newark, Del., and operations in Bucks County.
November 16, 2015 |
What the heck is a Health Hack? It's no traditional hackathon, with computer geeks, pizza, and Red Bull. Instead, think medical professionals, engineers, artists, tech types, and an insurance company banding together to come up with creative solutions to improve delivery of health care. Toss in some yoga, zumba, and kickboxing, and add a vegetarian lunch for good measure. That was the scene at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital this weekend as about 250 participants in the first Independence/Jefferson Health Hack came together to brainstorm solutions to 60 health-care challenges, including reducing hospital admissions, wearable devices, and drone delivery of health care.
October 23, 2015 |
THE ACLU OF Pennsylvania is suing the secretary of the state Department of Human Services and two other officials for what it calls a "consistent and continuing failure" to provide adequate mental-health care for people ruled incompetent to stand trial in criminal cases. In the suit, filed yesterday in U.S. District Court, the ACLU rails against the state for having "the longest delays in the country" for competency restoration treatment, which would allow the cases to proceed. It claims the lack of resources violates the patients' rights to due process, as well as the American Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act. "Our clients in this case are the forgotten among the forgotten," said Witold Walczak, the ACLU of Pennsylvania's legal director.
October 14, 2015 |
WITH THE expiration of their contract looming, thousands of janitors will gather in Center City today to take a strike-authorization vote, union officials said last night. The 32BJ Service Employees International Union has been in negotiations with Building Owners Labor Relations Inc. - which represents Center City building owners - since Sept. 3, a protracted debate over pensions and health-care payments, according to Daisy Cruz, SEIU's Mid-Atlantic director. Nearly 10,000 of the union's members affected by the current contract will vote on whether to authorize a strike at 2:30 p.m. in the courtyard next to Temple University's Center City campus, across from City Hall.
October 12, 2015 |
Maria is a tiny woman in her late 30s. Though she is a mother of two, she hasn't seen her children in more than 10 years. In 2004, she entrusted them to her mother in Honduras when Maria made her way, on foot, to the United States to find work. As I make rounds on the cancer ward at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, I find Maria seated at the foot of her hospital bed, hands folded neatly in her lap, bare feet swinging a good six inches above the linoleum floor. Every morning, she asks me in broken English when she can leave the hospital.
October 8, 2015
LAST WEEK, Congress averted a government shutdown and passed a spending bill, thereby removing the wish of some Republicans to tie continued operation of the government to a move to defund Planned Parenthood. They weren't left completely dissatisfied, though, since a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing last week gave them a chance to excoriate Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards. They questioned her salary, her organization's fundraising ability, and those disputed videos that conservatives claim captured Planned Parenthood trying to "sell baby body parts.
October 6, 2015 |
TRENTON - New Jersey's largest health insurer on Monday defended a new alliance it has struck with some of the state's hospital systems that's intended to lower costs for consumers, even as lawmakers questioned the criteria it used to choose its partners. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey last month announced it had formed the Omnia Health Alliance with six of the state's 20 hospital systems and a physicians group. The only South Jersey hospital system included in the alliance is Inspira.
October 2, 2015
MENTION the word "health" and people usually think of doctors and hospitals. Those are the people and institutions that work to make individuals healthy. Public health has a broader mission - to make whole communities healthy. The first public health professionals were called "sanitarians," partly because of science's new found understanding of the link between disease and sanitation. It's hard to believe but Philadelphia did not begin to chlorinate its drinking water until 1913 - and that was decades after the link between typhoid and dirty water was a proven fact.
October 2, 2015 |
Thousands of union janitors marched through Center City Wednesday, hoping to preserve their benefits and earn what they call fair wages. The rally on Chestnut Street included brief speeches by mayoral candidate Jim Kenney, City Councilman Curtis Jones Jr., and City Council President Darrell L. Clarke. Members of SEIU 32BJ gathered outside a high-rise apartment building at 2116 Chestnut about 11:45 a.m. After exciting the crowd with chants and encouraging words, union leaders led a march to John F. Kennedy Plaza.