Tower Health and Drexel Announce Plans to Develop Branch Medical School Campus

Photo of Tower Health President and CEO, Drexel College of Medicine Dean and Drexel President
Tower Health President and CEO Clint Matthews (left), Drexel College of Medicine Dean Daniel V. Schidlow and Drexel President John Fry at the ceremonial signing.

Tower Health and Drexel University have announced plans to jointly develop a branch medical school campus of Drexel University College of Medicine in West Reading near the campus of Reading Hospital, subject to the appropriate accreditation approvals. It is expected that upon approval of the regional accreditor, the branch campus will be operational for the 2021-2022 academic year.

"The affiliation between Tower Health and Drexel University to develop a branch medical school campus in West Reading leverages the outstanding reputation of Drexel University's medical school, and Tower Health's proven clinical quality of care as a provider and payer," said Clint Matthews, Tower Health's president and Chief Executive Officer. "This innovative collaboration also addresses the challenge of an increased demand for highly trained physicians, and will provide a positive economic impact to the Berks County region."

By collaborating with Drexel University College of Medicine, Tower Health begins to build an academic medical center and brings undergraduate and graduate clinical education and research to a single campus. Tower Health will serve as an important resource to the academic mission of Drexel University College of Medicine.

"We are so pleased to share with Tower Health in this effort to expand opportunities for medical training in our region, which will benefit practitioners and patients alike," said John Fry, Drexel president. 

The branch medical school is anticipated to result in a positive community and economic impact on the Berks County region by way of increased jobs for physicians, educators, and other disciplines, increased spend within the Berks community, and elevated education level of the population. 

"We are very excited about this new collaboration, which offers our students a great opportunity to train with excellent physicians at a top-quality facility," said Drexel College of Medicine Dean Daniel V. Schidlow, MD.

Tower Health is evaluating sites for the location of the potential Drexel University College of Medicine branch campus. Ideally, the school will be located in close proximity to Reading Hospital, but a final site has not been identified. 

With 11,000 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; and a connected network of 2,000 physicians, specialists and providers across 65 convenient locations.

This news release has been updated since it was published to reflect a change in when the first-year medical students will begin their education at the Reading location.