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Commonwealth Court Denies Injunction to Stop State Health Centers from Closing

The Commonwealth Court has denied an injunction to not close state health centers, according to the Service Employees International Union, or SEIU, which represents public health nurses.

The Corbett administration is planning on closing or consolidating 26 state health centers. The Department of Health has said that closing centers would allow services to be streamlined and for staff to work in a more mobile capacity. State health centers provide services such as vaccinations and STD testing.

The SEIU filed a lawsuit attempting to prevent the closures, and the union has said the state does not have the authority to close half the state health centers without approval of the Legislature.

The union said they are still waiting to hear the full opinion from the court and find out why the injunction was denied.

SEIU spokeswoman Amelia Abromaitis said the union is still proceeding with the lawsuit.

“If it comes down to the Legislature to act when they are approving the budget we are really looking to them to protect public health in Pennsylvania and put down this proposal that we believe puts public health at risk unnecessarily,” she said.

The Corbett administration has said consolidating the centers will save the state $3.4 million. 

Erika Beras (she/her) is a reporter and host for NPR's Planet Money podcast.
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