In a victory for our union and Pennsylvania’s public health, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has granted a temporary injunction that will prevent the Corbett Administration from continuing to close 26 of the state’s health centers pending a ruling on a full injunction.
“We are thrilled by the judgment of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in deciding to grant temporary injunction against the closure of our state health centers,” said Joe Donahue, a DOH School Nurse Consultant whose position was eliminated in May.
In February, the Corbett administration’s announced plans to close the 26 state health centers and relocate those nurses to health centers in neighboring counties was slated to occur in two phases. In addition, it was announced that 73 DOH employees including 26 community health nurses that work in the district offices would see their positions eliminated.
State health centers provide essential services like immunizations, health education and outreach programs, and are an important part of the state’s public health infrastructure. Pennsylvania already ranks 43rd of all states in per-capita spending on public health. Closing these centers would be another blow to an already beleaguered system responsible for protecting Pennsylvanians from disease.
“This decision marks an important step towards protecting public health and ensuring community access. The PA Supreme Court has ruled on behalf of the public interest to stop yet another over-reach by the Corbett Administration.”
In response to Governor Corbett’s plans, our union along with State Senators Solobay and Wozniak, and State Representatives Hanna, Harhai, and Snyder filed a lawsuit against the Corbett Administration, and requested an injunction to prevent Governor Corbett from taking any action to close the centers.
The Commonwealth Court denied the request for an injunction back in April, leading to an appeal to the Supreme Court. The rest of the lawsuit is still before the Commonwealth Court pending a hearing.