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Care New England will transition Memorial Hospital to outpatient center, avoid closure

Rather than closing Pawtucket, R.I.-based Memorial Hospital, Providence, R.I.-based Care New England will transition the facility into an outpatient center, according to Rhode Island Public Radio.


Care New England originally announced plans to close Memorial Hospital in October, after a deal fell through to sell the facility to Ontario, Calf.-based Prime Healthcare Foundation, the nonprofit arm of Prime Healthcare Services. After the announcement, Care New England quickly began winding-down services at Memorial Hospital — which drew widespread criticism from employees and sparked a lawsuit.

United Nurses and Allied Professionals, the union that represents nurses at the hospital, sued Care New England Dec. 7 to halt the closure of the facility. In the lawsuit, the Union claims Care New England failed to get approval before eliminating certain services and violated state law by attempting to transition services to a different hospital.

The agreement to transition Memorial Hospital from a full-service community hospital to an outpatient center for family care and internal medicine comes just one week after the lawsuit was filed. As a result of the agreement, UNAP withdrew its lawsuit against Care New England. 

The health system's plan to transition Memorial Hospital to an outpatient center will keep approximately 200 jobs in Pawtucket, according to the report.

The plan "represents the collaboration and determination of Care New England, the governor's office, the mayor of Pawtucket, and representatives from the union to ensure a comprehensive plan of care is developed and implemented," said Care New England's COO, James Fanale, MD, according to the Rhode Island Public Radio.

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