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St. Joseph's Hospital In North Philadelphia To Close In March 2016

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- North Philadelphia Health System (NPHS) has announced it's consolidating operations and will close St. Joseph's Hospital, a 146-bed acute care facility located at 16th Street and Girard Avenue.

The NPHS consists of two hospitals,  St. Joseph's and the Girard Medical Center.

According to its website, both are major employers and serve as an economic anchor in North Philadelphia, offering medical services to one of the most under-served communities in the city.

NPHS officials say it will base all of its operations out of its Girard Medical Center campus at 8th Street and Girard Avenue, and say they're working with Pennsylvania's Department of Human Services (DHS) and other area hospitals to ensure that medical, surgical and emergency room alternatives are available to local residents.

The consolidation also affects hundreds of employees. A statement released by NPHS reads in part:

"This is a very difficult decision for all involved, but we recognize that as part of the state's plan for this community, it makes more sense to consolidate onto one campus that can more effectively provide health care services to the community. Our highest priority remains the health and safety of our patients, and for this reason NPHS is committed to working with our state and city partners to complete the consolidation in a safe and orderly manner as we strengthen our operations at Girard Medical Center. The consolidation of NPHS operations will unfortunately impact workers and their families at St. Joseph's Hospital. While nearly 400 jobs at Girard Medical Center will not be affected, the planned closure of St. Joseph's Hospital, expected to be made effective on March 31, 2016, may result in the layoff of up to 675 workers."

NPHS says it will meet with Hospital Workers Union leaders to discuss details of the plan and will offer job placement assistance and job counseling over the next 90 days for those impacted.

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