Capital Health announced Dec. 8 that plans for it to take over services from St. Francis Medical Center in East Trenton have moved forward.
The health care providers, along with St. Francis parent organization Trinity Health, received the required approvals for the acquisition, which was put into motion in May 2021 when the parties signed a non-binding Letter of Intent.
In January 2022, they entered into a definitive agreement to move forward with the plans. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
According to the most recent announcement, as of Dec. 21, St. Francis will no longer operate as an acute care hospital. However, the facility will remain an Emergency Department and provide outpatient services for the time being to ensure continuation of service to the community. Other services will be relocated.
“St. Francis has done many great things for the Trenton community, but the current health care landscape has made it unsustainable. Without these key approvals, Trenton would have lost desperately needed health care services, including emergency services, behavioral health, and cardiac surgery. This would be devastating to the residents of Trenton and central New Jersey,” Capital Health President and CEO Al Maghazehe said in a statement.
“This is not a typical corporate transaction, with one organization taking over another to make itself stronger in the marketplace. In fact, Capital Health has taken a significant risk to try and prevent a health care crisis in Trenton,” he added.
Maghazehe thanked all agencies involved in the approval process, which included the New Jersey Superior Court and the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.
Additionally, 30 integration teams made up of Capital Health, St. Francis and Trinity staff have been working together to ensure there was no disruption of services for patients in Trenton and Mercer County.
“St. Francis Medical Center has been a proud member of the Trenton community for almost 150 years … Over the last several years, however, the rapidly changing health care landscape has presented serious financial challenges for our hospital,” said St. Francis President and CEO Daniel Moen. “Transitioning services to Capital Health helps preserve our mission and creates a more comprehensive health care system for the residents of Trenton and Mercer County. This acquisition by Capital Health is our best alternative.”
Samuel Plumeri Jr., chairman, Capital Healthcare Inc. board of trustees, added, “We understand this transition will be accompanied by some sadness. However, Capital Health is committed to continuing the mission our two hospitals share, which is to provide comprehensive, high-quality health care services to residents of the greater Trenton area.”
Plumeri added that Capital Health has “worked exhaustively to preserve as many jobs as possible and look[s] forward to expanding our Capital Health family.”
Joseph Youngblood II, chairman of St. Francis’ board of trustees, noted that the hospital “began the process of addressing changing health care dynamics negatively impacting our organization in 2015,” adding that the decision to work with Capital Health ensured services stayed in Trenton.
Where will the services be located?
Capital Health will maintain the Emergency Department in East Trenton after the transaction. The Outpatient Internal Medicine Clinic and C.A.R.E.S program will also be at the current St. Francis Medical Center site (which will be renamed Capital Health – East Trenton) for now, as will the Schools of Nursing and Radiologic Technology.
Eventually, Capital Health will establish a new Emergency Department and outpatient site at or near the current St. Francis site, according to Capital Health, which also plans to add an OB/GYN and prenatal care office in the area.
Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton will become the new location for other services provided at St. Francis, including cardiac surgery. The health care provider said it has expansion projects on the horizon for this center, as well.