Scranton Hospitals Plan to Merge
By Victoria Scruse – Staff Writer
The Commonwealth Health Moses Taylor Hospital and Regional Hospital have been providing healthcare services to the community since 1892 and 1978. A potential merger between the two hospitals draws attention to their history and legacy in Scranton.
The history of the Scranton hospitals begins with Moses Taylor in 1892. Taylor was a millionaire who made money as a banker, merchant and railroad owner. He owned the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroads.
The accumulated wealth allowed Taylor to build the Commonwealth Health Moses Taylor Hospitals, which are still named after him today. The Commonwealth Health Regional Hospital opened in 1978 as a medical office for coal miners and railroad workers.
The building expanded to function as a hospital with more beds, care options and accessibility. Treatment included orthopedics, robotic surgery, cardiac care, stroke care and neurology as hospital modifications.
The history of the hospitals now has the potential to evolve with a merger. The News Station from WNEP, channel 16, announced in early August that Commonwealth Health Moses Taylor and Regional Hospitals might merge and be run by an executive medical committee.
The Department of Health would need to approve the merger before any further action can take place. Both hospitals would have to get approval before the end of the year.
August was not the first time a hospital merger was discussed. The hospitals were supposed to merge in 2017, but nothing happened. Commonwealth still must answer how the merger would impact staff. The problems of staffing accommodations and upgrades to operations present challenges to the logistics of the merger.
Many important questions remain about the merger: How would the merger affect the Scranton community? Would the merger change insurance policies for Scranton patients? The lack of response from the hospital staff opens the merger to controversy and discussion.
While the hospital merger remains unclear, the legacy of hospitals and the work of Moses Taylor remains the center of community life, promoting the longevity and health of the Scranton people.