Raimondo Doesn’t Oppose Closure of Memorial, Union Calls for “Leadership”

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


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Governor Gina Raimondo

“The Governor doesn’t oppose CNE’s application [to close Memorial Hospital], said Governor Gina Raimondo’s Communications Director Mike Raia.

Raia says, “She [Raimondo] has said from the beginning that no one should lose their job and that CNE [Care New England] can’t just walk away from the facility without a plan to repurpose the campus.”

But neither Raimondo’s office, CNE, or Pawtucket Mayor Don Grebien can give any details to the number of jobs that could be retained, where the new health facility will be located or when the facility would be developed.

“That’s why she worked quickly to get commitments from Lifespan and CharterCare to hire workers who may be displaced and why her team is meeting regularly with CNE and officials from Pawtucket and Central Falls to develop a plan for future use,” said Raia.

If approved by the Department of Health, Memorial’s closure will cause the layoff of more than 800 Memorial Hospital employees.

Union Reacts About Lack of Details

"Let's be very clear about what's happening -- a community is losing its' hospital and many of the dedicated health professionals who have served that community for more than a generation are losing their the ability to support themselves and their families, said Ray Sullivan, spokesperson for the United Nurses and Allied Professionals (UNAP).

“While we recognize that the governor has spoken to Lifespan and CharterCARE executives about the need to assist displaced workers, we still have no idea how or when approximately 800 individuals are going to be absorbed into those two health systems. It's time to move beyond lofty statements that are strong on sentiment but soft on specifics. It's time for details,” said Sullivan.

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Memorial Hospital - when closed 800 will lose their jobs

While the union is asking for details, CNE is refusing to give details. CNE is presently in negotiations to sell the hospital group to Partners HealthCare in Boston. CNE has lost nearly $120 million in the past two years.

When asked how many jobs would be retained, what would happen to those employees not retained, where the new facility would be located

"We will continue to provide more details as we work to solidify these plans," said Jim Beardsworth, spokesperson for CNE on Tuesday in an email to GoLocal.

“This union has been asking for weeks what specific health services and jobs will be preserved at the Memorial campus and the response has been little more than empty rhetoric. We would respectfully ask the governor to lead on this issue and hold Care New England executives accountable to a plan of action that Blackstone Valley residents and hard-working nurses and health professionals can count on,” added Sullivan.

Public Meeting to Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department Closure

RI’s Department of Health will hold a meeting on Monday, November 27th to gather public comment on CNE’s application to close the emergency department at Memorial Hospital.

“The purpose of the meeting will be to allow the public to provide input on the potential closure’s effects on the community. RIDOH officials at the meeting will not be able to answer questions about the application, said Department of Health.

A copy of the application to close the emergency department can be found online.

The meeting will be held at Lyman B. Goff Middle School from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The address of Lyman B. Goff Middle School is 974 Newport Avenue, Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

In addition to speaking at this meeting, members of the public can also submit written comment. Written comment can be submitted in person on November 27th or it can be submitted via email or postal mail between today and December 11th to Paula Pullano, Rhode Island Department of Health; 3 Capitol Hill, Room 410; Providence, RI 02908 or to [email protected]


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