CharterCARE announces intent to purchase Memorial Hospital from Care New England
CharterCARE Health Partners CEO John Holiver, Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien and other elected officials and community stakeholders held a press conference on April 12 at Pawtucket City Hall to announce CharterCARE’s intention to purchase and reopen Memorial Hospital. Reopening the emergency room would be the first step in a phased process to restore hospital services at Memorial.
“Memorial Hospital was formed in 1894 and for well over a century it provided the residents of Blackstone Valley with critical hospital care services. It survived through the decades based on the goodwill and generosity of too many people to mention. Today, we embark on a path to return Memorial Hospital to the people of Blackstone Valley and to restore this critical community asset,” said John Holiver, CEO of CharterCARE.
“Generations of Pawtucket residents came to rely upon Memorial Hospital for their healthcare needs, particularly in times of crisis. Regardless of what has transpired in the past six months, we stand here today unified around the opportunity to bring back Memorial, hundreds of employees and access to emergency room care for the residents of Blackstone Valley,” said Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien. “I asked CharterCARE to see what they could do to address this situation, and they have responded.”
Under the terms of a proposal, CharterCARE would purchase the hospital property and infrastructure and will commit to $10 million in capital improvements. CharterCARE will host healthcare job fairs that prioritize hiring Rhode Islanders. CharterCARE will also pay property taxes to the City of Pawtucket and is working closely with the city to establish a tax stabilization framework. CharterCARE expects to submit a formal offer to CNE to purchase Memorial in the coming days.
The offer will be contingent on getting all appropriate regulatory licenses and certificates of need reinstated so that CharterCARE may provide services historically provided by Memorial Hospital. The purchase is also contingent on CharterCARE’s ability to either negotiate fair rates with insurance providers or the adoption of legislation that would mandate reimbursement rates inline with other hospitals in Rhode Island. Legislation to address the imbalance in hospital rates will be introduced in the coming days.
“Central Falls residents need a nearby community hospital for our emergency needs,” said Central Falls Mayor James Diossa. “Our rescues have been in waiting lines since the closure of Memorial Hospital, putting the health of our residents at serious risk. We took legal action to stop the closure of Memorial and now support this effort to reopen the hospital, its emergency department and to restore jobs and services to the Blackstone Valley.”
"We are committed to Rhode Island, and to the Blackstone Valley community. We are prepared to invest $10 million into Memorial, and reopen this facility creating a first wave of over 100 jobs with more to come. Currently, we are the lowest reimbursed hospital system in the state. We want to work with state and legislative leaders to correct this imbalance,” said Holiver.
As a first step, CharterCARE is committed to reopening the emergency room and will then look to phase in outpatient services.
Last October, Care New England announced it would be shutting down emergency services and in-patient units at the hospital, after the failure of a proposed sale to Prime Healthcare. The announcement affected approximately 700 employees, limited access to hospital care in the Blackstone Valley and caused an emergency room crisis when other area hospital emergency rooms were inundated with an overflow of patients during the winter.
“Memorial will not be what it was overnight, but by reopening the emergency room as a first step we can bring back over one hundred jobs. Our goal would be to bring this hospital back in phases by offering services that best meet the demands of the community,” added Holiver.