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6/20/2017 Sen. Crowley’s legislation to expedite merger of Memorial Hospital with Prime Healthcare Foundation passes Senate
STATE HOUSE –Sen. Elizabeth A. Crowley’s (D-Dist. 16, Central Falls, Pawtucket) legislation (2017-S 0937A) that would streamline the procedure for the approval of mergers of nonprofit hospitals in response to the proposed merger of Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket with Prime Healthcare Foundation passed the Senate tonight.  The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

“This legislation will keep Memorial Hospital’s doors open so that the surrounding community continues to receive the care that they rely upon every single day.  It is critical that Memorial Hospital’s fate is determined in a timely manner so that the patients who use the hospital’s services may plan accordingly.  The hospital as it currently stands is in financial hardship which could cause a cut in services and jobs and this legislation would allow the parties to work quickly to affect a change in ownership that may keep these vital services.” said Senator Crowley.

Prime Healthcare Foundation, based in California and owners of the Landmark Medical Center in Woonsocket, has recently proposed the acquisition of Memorial Hospital from Care New England.  Memorial Hospital, a community institution for over 100 years, has been operating with a deficit for many years, yet there is strong community support to keep the hospital’s doors open and serving the surrounding public.

The proposed merger, under “The Hospital Conversions Act,” is subject to review and approval from the Rhode Island Department of Health and the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office.  Senator Crowley’s legislation would expedite the normal procedure by streamlining the process of approval with the hopes of keeping Memorial Hospital open and functioning for the benefit of the community.

Cosponsors of the legislation in the Senate are Sen. Donna M. Nesselbush (D-Dist. 15, Pawtucket, North Providence), and Sen. William J. Conley Jr. (D-Dist. 18, East Providence, Pawtucket).

Rep. Raymond A. Johnston (D-Dist. 6, Pawtucket) has sponsored companion legislation (2017-H 6284) in the House of Representatives.

For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903