Governor Tom Corbett wants to close nearly half of Pennsylvania's 60 health centers and lay off some nurses as part of an effort to save money and improve the way the state handles its public health duties.
The plan would keep 34 health centers and eliminate the positions of 26 nurses who perform services that are handled by other agencies.
A health department spokesperson says more emphasis would be placed on nurses traveling to public gatherings as a way to administer things like immunizations and, ultimately, serve more people.
104 community health nurses, along with 18 community health nurse supervisors, would remain on the job - some moving into newly consolidated centers.
The labor union that represents state nurses said the move runs the risk of slowing down the detection or prevention of outbreaks of communicable diseases and will be felt most heavily in rural areas.