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10/17/2017 Sen. Crowley urges Department of Health to reject closure of Memorial Hospital
STATE HOUSE – Sen. Elizabeth A. Crowley (D-Dist. 16, Central Falls, Pawtucket) is “saddened and dismayed” after hearing that Care New England will be closing Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket after a deal to sell the hospital to Prime Healthcare Foundation fell through.

“I am truly saddened and dismayed by the news that Memorial Hospital will be closing its doors.  This truly is a sad day for the residents who rely upon Memorial Hospital’s services, the dedicated staff who have provided top-notch care, and the surrounding community as a whole who have had Memorial Hospital to care for and protect their health for over 100 years.  At the legislative level, we did everything possible to keep Memorial Hospital in operation, including passage earlier this year of legislation to expedite the Hospital Conversion Act process. With this tool in place, it is extremely disappointing that officials were unable to finalize the sale.  I am urging both Care New England and Prime Healthcare Foundation to come back to the negotiating table to hopefully come to an agreement that will reverse this unfortunate decision to close Memorial Hospital,” said Senator Crowley.

“When Landmark Medical Center was going to close, a petition was made to the courts not to approve the closure plan, but to put the center into receivership.  I want my community hospital to be given the same protections as Landmark.  Should a return to negotiations fail, I urge the Department of Health to use the Landmark case as a model and to reject this closure plan.  I want my community protected.  I want these 700 jobs protected.  There is too much at stake,” added Senator Crowley.

During the last legislative session, Senator Crowley sponsored legislation (2017-S 0937Aaa) 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.  The bill was passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Raimondo.  It was cosponsored by Sen. Donna M. Nesselbush (D-Dist. 15, Pawtucket, North Providence) and Sen. William J. Conley, Jr. (D-Dist. 18, East Providence, Pawtucket).

“This is a tragic outcome for the community that utilizes Memorial Hospital and the dedicated workers who selflessly serve the hospital’s patients.  I join Senator Crowley in calling for the two parties to resume negotiations for the sake of the community’s health and the livelihoods of Memorial Hospital’s staff,” said Senator Nesselbush.

“To say I am disappointed with this decision would be an understatement, especially in light of the efforts Senator Crowley put into keeping Memorial Hospital’s doors open last legislative session.  This decision will be devastating to the public health of Pawtucket and I hope this choice to close Memorial Hospital can be reversed by restarting negotiations and finding a solution,” said Senator Conley.

“I have reached out to the Department of Labor and Training to assist all staff members who will be displaced, and I am always available to help any resident who will be losing the services provided by the hospital,” said Senator Crowley.  “Memorial Hospital and its history of service will be sorely missed.” 

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