UNAP, Elected Leaders to Urge Health Dept. to Halt Memorial Hospital Closings

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


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The United Nurses and Allied Professionals will join state and city elected leaders to call on Gov. Gina Raimondo and the Rhode Island Department of Health to halt any and all efforts by Care New England to further eliminate or scale back primary care services at memorial Hospital. 

The groups will hold a press conference on Wednesday, May 18 at 3 p.m. at the State House. 

"While there are certainly no guarantees that an affiliation agreement between Southcoast and Care New England will be approved, we believe that process should be completed before Care New England is allowed to dismantle Memorial Hospital. It is appropriate, therefore, with critical community-based patient care and hundreds of jobs at stake, that the Health Department's review of the Care New England's reverse certificate of need application be immediately halted," said Chris Callaci, general counsel for the UNAP.

A number of state legislative and city leaders have been critical of this process including Sen. James Doyle, Sen. Elizabeth Crowley, Sen. William Conley, Sen. Donna Nesselbush, Rep. David Coughlin, Rep. Raymond Johnston, Rep. Carlos Tobon, Rep. Jean Phillippe Barros, Rep. Mary Duffy-Messier, as well as Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien and Central Falls Mayor James Diossa. 

A number of these officials are expected to attend Wednesday's press conference. 

Memorial Hospital Closings 

The boards of Southcoast Health Systems and Care New England recently announced plans to pursue formal affiliation. The process would  include new management at Memorial  and the UNAP is hopeful the new team will see the benefit in protecting a community hospital which has served the Blackstone Valley for over 100 years. 

Care New England executives have attempted to expedite and side step the reverse certificate of need process having gone so far as to lobby the Health Department to support measures that would have allowed CNE to dismantle Memorial Hospital without any regulatory review or public comment. 

In February, prior to the affiliation deal with Southcoast was announced, Care New England initiated efforts to close Memorial's Intensive Care Unit and the Birthing Center  as well as scale down the Emergency Department and Medical Surgical Unity. 

When Care New England took over operations of Memorial Hospital in 2013, it made a three-year commitment, formalized in its application to the Health Department, to fund Memorial's operational shortfalls. That commitment would not end until this September. 

The New System 

It is estimated that a new combined Southcoast/ Care New England system would generate $2 billion in revenue according to Care New England President and CEO Dennis Keefe. 

"We believe we could broaden our array of patient services," said keep in a messaged send to Care New England staff. 


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