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Massena Memorial Hospital reveals potential affiliate days after CEO departs

Massena (N.Y.) Memorial Hospital revealed the identity of one of the two healthcare organizations it has been in discussions with regarding a potential partnership or affiliation days after its CEO abruptly resigned, according to North Country Now.

Massena Town Supervisor Steven D. O'Shaughnessy told the publication June 19 the hospital has been in talks with Canton-Potsdam Hospital in Potsdam, N.Y., among other organizations.

"Yes, nothing [is] definite. We've talked to a lot of people. I know that was always a big secret before," Mr. O'Shaughnessy said, adding former hospital CEO Bob Wolleben "wouldn't let people know because he was worried about [the discussions]."

"I think before I was on the board … [officials] had numerous talks with Canton-Potsdam," he said.

Mr. Wolleben previously said the hospital had been in discussions with two hospital systems regarding a potential affiliation since sending a request for proposals to 17 organizations in 2016. One system resided in the eastern side of the state, while the other was located in the western region.

Any potential affiliation is contingent on the hospital's asset transfer with the town of Massena, which owns the hospital, which is currently in progress.

Mr. Wolleben had been providing the board of managers with monthly updates about the potential affiliation until several months ago, when he told officials the affiliation was "in suspended animation," according to the report.

Mr. Wolleben's resignation was announced via media releases following a June 18 meeting. It is unclear why Mr. Wolleben resigned. He had served as CEO of the hospital since 2015. Officials selected Ann Gilpin, former president and CEO of Oswego (N.Y.) Health System, to take over as interim CEO.

Following news of Mr. Wolleben's resignation, hospital officials said the hospital is seeking a management contract as an interim step to forming a private nonprofit and securing a partner.

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