Exec says Jeanes, cancer-center merger is still months away


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.

• • •

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. ••


You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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