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

A rendering of the Drexel College of Medicine branch campus that will be built in West Reading through an agreement with Tower Health.
A rendering of the Drexel College of Medicine branch campus that will be built in West Reading through an agreement with Tower Health.

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 2021-22 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.”

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

Photo of Drexel President John Fry, Tower Health President and CEO Clint Matthews and Dean of Drexel's College of Medicine Daniel Schidlow at the signing ceremony

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 formerly 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 first-year medical students is expected to arrive for the 2021-22 academic year. 

“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.

With 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

Drexel University College of Medicine is the successor to two historic medical schools: Hahnemann Medical College (founded in 1848) and the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania (1850), the first medical school in the world for women. Today, with more than 1,000 medical students, Drexel University College of Medicine is educating 1 in every 83 medical students in the nation. Graduate students number more than 800, and are enrolled in over 40 doctoral, master's and professional development programs. The College offers some of the most innovative and rigorous academic programs available, incorporating the University’s expertise in engineering and technology into traditional medical training.

The College of Medicine is home to one of the nation’s leading centers for spinal cord research; one of the foremost centers for malaria study; and a highly regarded HIV/AIDS program with extensive NIH-funded research in prevention and therapeutic interventions. Drexel University College of Medicine is highly respected in numerous other specialties including the neurosciences.

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. Education, classroom and lab instruction will no longer take place at a temporary site but will begin once the new building is complete.