Statement regarding the closure of St. Francis Medical Center
I Am Trenton Community Foundation is deeply concerned about the closure of St. Francis Medical Center that Capital Health plans to undertake, pending State approval, upon acquiring the hospital.
I Am Trenton’s mission is to make Trenton even better through community engagement, building pride in our city, and community-focused giving. Since beginning our grantmaking in 2009, we have given out $450,000 to over 200 grassroots projects led by Trentonians, using our core funds and by administering funds on behalf of collaborating organizations. In a context where Trenton continues to suffer the legacy of deeply inequitable investment relative to a much-wealthier region, and where many in surrounding communities hold negative views of the city, we were established as a community foundation for and by Trenton – to support the tireless work of local changemakers and grow the good we see in the city every day.
The Trenton-Princeton metropolitan area has significant health inequality. The planned closure of St. Francis, which has served the Trenton community since 1874, will impact not only healthcare access for the many Trenton residents who rely on it, and who face disproportionate barriers getting it elsewhere. The plan also anticipates that Trinity Health, the current parent company of St. Francis, will demolish the hospital buildings and grounds in their entirety. As a community foundation dedicated to reinvesting in Trenton, and especially in its young people, we are very conscious of the impact the hospital closure will have on Trenton Central High School students, who – instead of seeing an active healthcare facility across from their school that can inspire them in their own careers and their vision for their hometown – will instead have to watch bulldozers turning the hospital into a vacant lot.
We urge all the stakeholders involved to explore all possible alternative options and any resources that can permit the site to continue as a healthcare facility, even in a different form. Above all, we urge the stakeholders to authentically engage the Trenton community. We believe in the resourcefulness and creativity of Trentonians, and that taking a mindset of investment, growth, and support for Trenton will benefit not just the city but the region and all its stakeholders in the long run.