CharterCare announces plans to purchase, reopen Memorial Hospital
By: Chloe Leshner
PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WLNE) -- Months after Memorial Hospital shut its doors, a health care company is stepping up and trying to force a deal that could re-open the hospital. But some important players are skeptical and say this new offer will never work. This is not a done deal, the CEO of CharterCare announcing today it intends to buy Memorial Hospital. But the current owner, Care New England, say it's already had this discussion and it went no where.
"We do not currently have a deal with them. However we're very confident moving forward, because its the right thing to do for the community, that Care New England will be excited about this," says John Holiver, CEO of CharterCare.
But Care New England is not excited about the deal, in fact there is no deal at this point.
In a statement, officials with Care New England say any plan to revive Memorial is "unfeasible, especially since we previously had conversations with CharterCare about buying Memorial and those proved fruitless."
The state has already determined the hospital was not viable after a lengthy review but city officials in Pawtucket didn't agree with that assessment. This latest proposal from charter care has given them reason for optimism.
"I think when people put all the other things aside and look at the human element of it and how important all the services that we're all out here advocating for are, I think it makes it an easy prospective," says Mayor Don Grebien.
CharterCare claims it's willing to invest $10 million to re–vamp the hospital but only if it can get reimbursement rates equal to other hospitals in the state.
"We need these dollars to reinvest in what we're doing here today, to be able to go out and take on the risk of taking a shuttered hospital and making it vibrant again," says Holiver.
It's that money that a representative with the United Nurses and Allied Professionals Union says is prompting CharterCare to try and make a deal now.
"It's a disgrace because they're basically ripping a scab off a wound. People up there have suffered with the anguish of this hospital closing how dare these guys at [CharterCare] revisit that for them with this disingenuous offer when they know full well this hospital isn't going to reopen," says Chris Callaci with the Union.
CharterCare owns Roger Williams and Our Lady of Fatima hospitals, they say they'll be sending an official offer to Care New England in the next few days.