Care New England, Southcoast talks move ahead

Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The boards for Care New England and Southcoast Health have voted to move forward with a proposed affiliation between the two healthcare systems.

The organizations will now work on executing the agreement, and the subsequent review process in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Officials for the companies say the new system would be a more than $2 billion entity with eight hospitals, and more than 15,000 employees.

Under the proposal, Southcoast President and CEO Keith Hovan would become the President and CEO of the new health system. Care New England’s CEO Dennis Keefe will serve as the CEO of the Population Health initiative for the unified system.

“This affiliation helps to build an even stronger future for our organizations while importantly maintaining our steadfast commitment to our local communities,” Southcoast Board Chair Jean MacCormack said in a release.

Meanwhile, the United Nurses and Allied Professionals are fighting a decision by Care New England to dismantle some services at Memorial Hospital in an effort to cut costs.

“Given that an affiliation agreement between Southcoast and Care New England would reportedly ‘broaden the array of patient services’ and install new leadership at the top of the parent company for the Memorial Hospital, we urge existing CNE executives to cease any and all efforts to  eliminate or scale back primary care services in Pawtucket,” UNAP Counsel Chris Callaci said in a statement. “Furthermore, we would ask the Department of Health to put on hold any attempts by Care New England to restructure Memorial Hospital, given the potential affiliation.”


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