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Pa. Department Of Health Planning To Close Some State-Run Health Centers

By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Pennsylvania Department of Health wants to close roughly half of the state-run health centers across the Commonwealth, but the Greater Philadelphia area won’t feel the impact, for now.

Earlier this week the department proposed slashing $3.4 million from its $20 million budget by closing 25 health centers and cutting 14 jobs.
The centers provide community immunizations, STD testing and health screenings across the state.

“We serve a population that is either underinsured or uninsured and sometimes getting to our physical location can be a challenge. We want to participate in more community events, we want to work with partners whether they be food banks [or] schools,” says acting secretary for Pennsylvania Department of Health Michael Wolf.

The SEUI Healthcare, which represents nurses in the state, opposes the closings, says Vice President Kevin Hefty.

“Being based out of another county will not help nurses make relationships in another community,” says Hefty.

The only state-run health center in the area is in Delaware County, which is likely to remain open.

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