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Tower Health and Drexel University Sign Medical School Academic Agreement, Further Plans for New Campus

February 22, 2019

Tower Health and Drexel University have secured appropriate accreditation approval to establish a new four-year regional campus of Drexel University College of Medicine in West Reading near Reading Hospital.  A 20-year academic agreement between Tower Health and Drexel University was signed today. The campus will be operational for the 2020-2021 academic year.

“Our affiliation with Drexel University College of Medicine, one of the finest medical schools in the country, demonstrates Tower Health’s ongoing commitment to academics, research and innovation,” said Clint Matthews, president and chief executive officer, Tower Health. “The presence of a four-year regional campus adjacent to Reading Hospital, the largest hospital between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, creates a destination for physicians who want to practice in a clinically advanced environment.”

“This milestone in the unique collaboration between Drexel University College of Medicine and Tower Health allows us to significantly expand opportunities for medical training, which will benefit practitioners and patients alike,” said John Fry, Drexel president.

In October 2018, a memorandum of understanding was signed by Tower Health with Equus Capital Partners, Ltd. to build the new medical school building on Parcel 9 of The Knitting Mills redevelopment, which was formally known as The VF Outlets. The site, which is 0.6 miles from Reading Hospital, will include a state-of-the-art building that will house the college. Nationally ranked architectural firm, The S/L/A/M Collaborative (SLAM) which services educational clients from top-tier colleges and universities, has been chosen for the building’s design.  

Tower Health will serve as an important resource to the academic mission of Drexel University College of Medicine. The first class of approximately 40 first-year medical students will arrive for the 2020-21 academic year. Education, classroom and lab instruction will take place temporarily in Reading Hospital's School of Health Sciences until the expected completion of the new medical school building in 2021.

“The College of Medicine has a heritage of innovation and inclusiveness. This unique collaboration with Tower Health, a strong regional health system, is a wonderful addition to our legacy,” said Drexel College of Medicine Dean Daniel V. Schidlow, MD.

The addition of the four-year regional campus at Reading Hospital will result in a positive community and economic impact on the Berks County region.