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Published: July 18, 2013 print this article Print save this article Save email this article Email ENLARGE TEXT increase font decrease font

State Supreme Court halts plan to close about half of Pa.’s health centers



HARRISBURG — The state Supreme Court is ordering a halt to a plan by Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration to close nearly half of Pennsylvania’s 60 community health centers until it can hear a lawsuit challenging it.
One of the affected centers is in Butler, which absorbed the health center and staff from Beaver and Armstrong counties.
The high court’s order, issued Wednesday, reverses a lower court decision on the request for an injunction and asks for a speedy hearing of the case.
A state employees’ union, Department of Health nurses and several Democratic state lawmakers sued on April 1, saying the plan violates a 1996 law that requires legislative approval before closing any centers.
Department of Health officials say they can do a better job treating public health problems by making community health nurses more mobile. Agency employees warn that it’d slow the detection of communicable diseases outbreaks, particularly in rural areas.





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