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2 Chester County Tower Health Hospitals Closing In Move 'Devastating For Our Community'

CHESTER COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) -- A big blow for Chester County as two hospitals will close in a matter of weeks. They are Jennersville Hospital on West Baltimore Pike in West Grove, and Brandywine Hospital on Reeceville Road in Coatesville.

Just two weeks ago Tower Health, which owns both hospitals, announced that they'd found a buyer to take over the facilities.

Thursday morning, Tower announced that deal has fallen through. Both hospitals will close and the residents in Chester County who utilize them will be left in dire straits.

Jennersville will close on Dec. 31 and Brandywine on Jan. 31.

Eyewitness News spoke to three Chester County civic leaders about the decision. Marian Moskowitz is the Chester County commissioner and shared her reaction to the news.

"I only have one word: Devastating. It's just devastating to our community," Moskowitz said.

Danielle Friel Otten is a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Her district is in the county.

"This is gonna be devastating and potentially life-threatening. If you talk to our EMS or law enforcement, the people who are first responders, they will tell you that in addition to longer wait times, longer drive times, longer turnaround times for those resources, the cascading effects are tremendous," she said.

By that, the representative means that those longer drive times to get one patient to a new hospital also prevents that ambulance or EMT from responding to another call they may previously have been able to.

Another big issue? Mental health.

Brandywine Hospital has the only acute care psychiatric unit in the county. Fifty-four beds for the county's half-million residents will soon be gone.

"This is a burden for our municipalities and our law enforcement personnel and our first responders, as Danielle said. We need to all pull together and realize the impact of this and we have to find a way to create this mitigation plan," State Rep. Dianne Herrin said.

In addition to the decrease in access to health care, there's also an economic impact on the region with roughly 800 people losing their jobs

Each of the three women CBS3 spoke with were adamant that while they don't have the answers or solutions tonight but they will not rest until they find one for the affected residents of Chester County.

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