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Tower Health and College of Medicine Break Ground at West Reading Site

June 18, 2019

Photo of Drexel and Tower Health officials with shovels at the ceremonial groundbreaking
(left to right) Mark Martens, MD, vice president and Chief Academic Officer, Tower Health; Valerie Weber, MD, senior vice dean for Educational Affairs, Drexel University College of Medicine; Daniel V. Schidlow, MD, dean and senior vice president of Medical Affairs, Drexel University College of Medicine; Brent Wagner, MD, chairman, Tower Health Board of Directors; Clint Matthews, president and Chief Executive Officer, Tower Health; John Fry, president, Drexel University; Stan Silverman, vice chairman, Drexel University Board of Trustees; Daniel Ahern, executive vice president, Strategy and Business Development, Tower Health; William M. Jennings, president and Chief Executive Officer, Reading Hospital; and Daniel DiLella, president and Chief Executive Officer, Equus Capital Partners, Ltd.

Tower Health and Drexel University held a groundbreaking ceremony on June 17 for the Drexel University College of Medicine at Tower Health site in West Reading. Clint Matthews, Tower Health President and CEO; John Fry, Drexel University President; and Daniel V. Schidlow, MD, dean of the College of Medicine spoke about this milestone for the future of the medical school at the event.

Drexel University College of Medicine at Tower Health, located on Parcel 9 of The Knitting Mills redevelopment, will feature state-of-the-art technology – as well as traditional classrooms, learning communities and lecture halls. The facility will include traditional and nontraditional instructional venues where students will advance their medical skills and education via simulated patient rooms, anatomy laboratories and simulation labs to promote interdisciplinary education with residents, physicians and nurses.

In addition, the building’s design will enhance student life, promote health and wellness, and encourage an immersive learning experience. Students will have access to a fitness center with indoor and outdoor recreation space, Information Commons (Library), lounge areas, a game room and café. When fully operational, the campus will have capacity to educate and train 200 medical students.

“Tower Health is focused on taking care of all the communities we serve,” said Matthews. “Our collaboration with Drexel University further enhances our ongoing commitment to our academic mission by educating the physicians of tomorrow while also having a positive economic impact in Berks County.”

The new campus will bring faculty, staff, students and families who will become patrons of local stores, restaurants, hotels and other businesses in the community. It will also increase jobs for physicians, educators and other disciplines.

Drexel medical students will benefit from the additional site in an area that is experiencing economic growth, while studying medicine at the largest hospital between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. “Our relationship with Tower Health and this four-year regional campus creates an excellent destination for our medical students to build the emerging skills required by today’s physicians to meet the ever-growing needs within health care,” said Fry.

Rendering of new building for the Drexel College of Medicine at Tower Health

Tower Health and Drexel University first announced plans to develop an additional site for the College of Medicine near Reading Hospital in April 2018. Parcel 9 of The Knitting Mills, located .6 miles from Reading Hospital, was selected as the future home of Drexel University College of Medicine at Tower Health in October 2018. A 20-year academic agreement was signed between the two organizations in February 2019, and on May 29, 2019, twenty, third-year medical students began their core clinical rotations at Reading Hospital.

With more than 12,000 team members, Tower Health consists of Reading Hospital in West Reading; Brandywine Hospital in Coatesville; Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia; Jennersville Hospital in West Grove; Phoenixville Hospital in Phoenixville; and Pottstown Hospital in Pottstown. It also includes Reading Hospital Rehabilitation at Wyomissing; Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences in West Reading; home healthcare services provided by Tower Health at Home; and a network of 22 urgent care facilities across the Tower Health service area. Tower Health offers a connected network of 2,000 physicians, specialists and providers across 125 convenient locations. For more information, visit