A merger between the Fox Chase Cancer Center and neighboring Jeanes Hospital won’t be finalized for several months at least, according to a senior FCCC executive.
Speaking to the Fox Chase Homeowners Association and Town Watch last Wednesday night, chief operating officer Gary Weyhmuller said that the medical institutions are still working on financial terms, how they plan to handle state regulation and Medicare issues and how they will integrate their campuses.
Jeanes is part of the Temple University Health System, of which FCCC would become a member.
“We’re not a full part of the Temple Health System yet,” Weyhmuller said.
But both parties are committed to the union, he added. FCCC carries a strong “brand” as a nationally recognized and certified cancer facility, while Jeanes and Temple offer FCCC the opportunity to expand patient care and research. Though separate institutions, the facilities are already physically attached.
In recent years, FCCC lost a bid to expand its footprint into city-owned Burholme Park due to strong community opposition.
Weyhmuller reported that FCCC is about to begin construction on a new research building on its existing campus, but has no intent on new construction in the park.
However, if the Jeanes merger were to be finalized, many interior renovations would be likely, Weyhmuller said.
City Councilman Brian O’Neill said that a previous zoning change in Burholme Park that would have permitted FCCC expansion has reverted back to recreational due to the hospital’s inability to follow through on the proposal. A bill reaffirming the park’s recreational zoning recently passed Council, he said.
In an unrelated issue, Matt Braden, president of the civic group, reported that Fox Chase Coin, at 326 Loney St., had received an “over-the-counter” permit to buy and sell precious metals.
Previously, the civic group had opposed the permit, fearing that the business would become a “cash for gold” location or pawn shop, rather than a collector coin dealership. Under the new permit, the shop can only deal in retail precious metals, O’Neill said. It may not buy or sell on the wholesale level.
The Fox Chase Homeowners Association and Town Watch meet on the second Wednesday of odd-numbered months (January, March, etc.) at American Legion Post 366, 7976 Oxford Ave., at 7:30 p.m.
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At the Somerton Civic Association meeting on March 13, Dan Lodise, chief of staff to state Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-170th dist.) reported that the Community Life Improvement Program (CLIP) had responded to neighbors’ complaints about maintenance problems at a business on Northeast Avenue, behind Washington High School.
Lodise didn’t name the company but said that CLIP officials issued a warning to the business that it should repair cracked pavement, trim high weeds and make other visual improvements to the property, which some neighbors have called an eyesore.
The commercial/industrial site is posted for sale.
If the owner doesn’t make the external improvements, CLIP may send a team to do them, then bill the owner for the work, Lodise said.
In an unrelated topic, Somerton Civic president Dolores Barbieri asked members to consider nominating candidates for the association’s executive board. Officer terms expire in June. The board plans to appoint an election committee chairman at the April general meeting.
The Somerton Civic Association meets on the second Tuesday of every month from September through June at Walker Lodge 306, 1290 Southampton Road, at 7:30 p.m. ••EndFragment