Massachusetts Miracle

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Taunton State Hospital one step closer to closing after House vote

Charles Winokoor, Taunton Daily Gazette, April 26, 2012 Taunton - The House Ways and Means Committee’s late-night approval Tuesday of an amendment to its 2013 fiscal year budget - paving the way for the state to close Taunton State Hospital - has left local legislators with a bad taste in their mouth. “I’m not happy with this amendment, and I’m unhappy there was no roll call,” said state Representative Keiko Orrall, R-Lakeville. Orrall said she was disappointed that “stop and study” legislation sponsored by fellow Republican Representative Shaunna O’Connell, of Taunton, was not seriously considered. ... Taunton

Partners in talks with Hallmark Health

Steven Syre, Boston Globe, April 17, 2012 For obvious reasons, Partners Healthcare System Inc. sat on the sidelines during the early innings of the hospital merger and acquisition binge in Massachusetts. The nonprofit medical giant was already seen as too big and powerful to win state permission to expand another inch by acquisition. The presumptive response from Attorney General Martha Coakley to any such idea could be summed up in three words: No, no, no. But the rules may be changing. Partners is at the center of three potential health care deals that have already been disclosed. Now this: Partners is in talks with Hallmark Health System ... Partners

Steward Health Care reshaping state's hospital industry

Steve Adams, Patriot Ledger, April 28, 2012 Quincy - A wave of acquisitions is reshaping ownership of Massachusetts hospitals, and one company has emerged as the driving force behind much of this activity. Steward Health Care System, a for-profit company created in 2010, announced its latest acquisition last month of New England Sinai Hospital in Stoughton for $40 million. The pending purchase – which requires state approvals – follows Steward’s acquisition of the Caritas Christi hospital system, Quincy Medical Center, Taunton’s Morton Hospital and others in the last two years. The company now owns 10 hospitals in the state. ... Steward

Manet Center fundraiser honors Steward CEO

Patriot Ledger, April 27, 2012 At their annual dinner and silent auction, the staff and supporters of the Manet Community Health Center celebrated the past year, and raised money for the year ahead. The event was held Thursday evening at the Granite Links Golf Club in Quincy. In 2011, Manet saw major changes, one of which was an affiliation with Steward Health Care Systems. Manet awarded Steward Health Care CEO Dr. (sic) Ralph de la Torre the Manet Medallion this year to commemorate the move.

Steward taps North Carolina man for Carney presidency

Gintautas Dumcius, Dorchester Reporter, April 26, 2012 A health care executive from North Carolina has been hired to take over as president and CEO of the Carney Hospital next month. Andrew Davis was introduced to the Dorchester Avenue hospital’s board at a private meeting on Monday. Accompanying Davis were Ralph de la Torre, the chairman and CEO of the Steward Health Care System, which owns Carney Hospital, and Josh Putter, Steward’s chief operating officer. Davis comes to Boston from his post as chief executive officer of Davis Regional Medical Center in Statesville, NC, and chief executive officer of Sandhills Regional Medical Center in Hamlet, NC. ... Steward

New president, ominous signs at Carney Hospital

Ed Forry, Editor, Dorchester Reporter, April 26, 2012 The owners of Carney Hospital this week appointed a new person to run Dorchester’s only hospital. But, in doing so, they also sent ominous signals about the tone and direction of the Carney operation - signals that the wider community and our political leadership in particular must confront swiftly. Andrew Davis, who has been tapped to lead the hospital by the Steward Health Care System, replaces Bill Walczak, a proven leader and innovator whose abrupt departure on April 13 has not been adequately explained by Steward’s executive team. ... New

Chrysler is back from the dead

Chrysler posts best quarterly profit in 13 years. Rod Meloni, WDIV Detroit, April 26, 2012 Detroit - Three years ago, the brain trust from the Cerberus hedge fund promised to show the auto industry how it’s really done. Cloaking themselves in the American flag, the big money boys under that three-headed dog’s masthead told us they would show us all how to make a car company work more efficiently and [most importantly] profitably. Then, in a matter of months they offered to sell the most beleaguered of the domestic three to the federal government for $1. Yes, you read that right, one whole dollar. ... Chrysler

Chrysler reports best quarterly profit in years

Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times, April 26, 2012 Chrysler Group reported its third consecutive quarterly profit and logged its best financial performance in more than a decade, a turbulent period of changing owners with varied business strategies for the Detroit automaker. Chrysler said it posted net income of $473 million for the first quarter of 2012, up more than 300% from $116 million a year ago. The company said the gains were  driven primarily by a 40% increase in US retail sales. It was the company's highest quarterly profit since it emerged from bankruptcy in 2009. ... Chrysler

House Budget’s Consent to Closure of Taunton State Hospital Represents Abandonment of Mentally Ill

Frontline Caregivers Say State’s Mental Health System is Already in Shambles.
Shortage of Beds and Lack of Funding Jeopardizes Patient Safety.
Proposed Closing Will Be Devastating for the State’s Most Vulnerable Residents.
Leading to Overcrowding of Emergency Rooms, Increased Homelessness and Suicide. Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United, April 25, 2012 Boston – Last night the state’s House of Representatives failed to adopt a strong amendment preventing the closure of Taunton State Hospital, which also would have called for a comprehensive study of the growing mental health crisis in Massachusetts, opting instead to pass an anemic consolidated amendment ... House

House agrees to close Taunton Hospital

Matt Murphy, State House News Service, April 25, 2012

Taunton - House lawmakers on Tuesday night agreed to allow the Patrick administration to move forward with plans to close Taunton Hospital, but ordered the Department of Mental Health to preserve at least 30 inpatient beds in the southeast region of the state.

The governor’s plan to wring savings out of the state’s mental healthcare system by closing Taunton Hospital has proven to be one of the most contentious proposals of the fiscal 2013 budget debate, with lawmakers from the region in both the House and Senate protesting the move since it was outlined in January.

Carney Hospital in Dorchester names new president

DC Denison, Boston Globe, April 24, 2012 Steward Health Care System, parent company of Carney Hospital in Dorchester, named a new president for the hospital Tuesday: Andrew Davis, the former chief executive of the Davis Regional Medical Center in Statesville, NC. Davis will start at Carney on May 7. Bill Walczak, Carney’s previous president, abruptly left the 186-bed hospital less than two weeks ago after 14 months on the job. Carney has been losing money for years amid cuts in government insurance payments for low income patients. Walczak denied Steward’s statement that he had resigned ... Carney

3 Massachusetts ERs cited for denial of care

Liz Kowalczyk, Boston Globe, April 23, 2012 Health officials cited three Massachusetts hospitals in the past six months for wrongly sending away patients from their emergency rooms, in one case resulting in the death of a patient while en route to another facility. In that episode, caregivers at Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River failed to provide needed medical treatment before transferring the patient, who was unstable and in respiratory distress, state investigators concluded. ... 3

Steward building portfolio sold for about $100M

New England Business Bulletin, April 20, 2012 Fall River - A portfolio of 13 medical buildings including one in Taunton and one in Fall River has been sold by Steward Health Care for approximately $100 million. In a March 30 statement, Arizona-based Healthcare Trust of America Inc., a self-administered, self-managed real estate investment trust, said it purchased the buildings which are 100 percent master leased on a triple net basis by Steward Health Care System until 2024. Total square footage of the package is 371,551 square feet. ... Steward

Steward Health Care names new president for Morton Hospital in Taunton

Charles Winokoor, Taunton Daily Gazette, April 19, 2012 Taunton - Morton Hospital’s parent company, Steward Health Care Systems of Boston, has announced a replacement for former Morton president and chief executive officer Maureen Bryant. Bryant, who four months ago left to become CEO of a Catholic hospital in Aurora, IL, has been replaced by Kimberly Bassett. Bassett previously worked 22 years for Health Management Associates, a health group with more than 70 hospitals, many of them in the southern region of the country. She most recently was CEO of Saint Cloud Regional Medical Center, an 84-bed facility in Saint Cloud, FL. ... Steward

President’s exit stirs fears on hospital’s fate

Robert Weisman, Boston Globe, April 19, 2012 Bill Walczak said he did not resign as president of Carney Hospital, as the hospital said. Dorchester community leaders are worried about the future of Carney Hospital after last week’s abrupt departure - some say firing - of its president, Bill Walczak, a longtime neighborhood activist hired by Carney’s new corporate owner only 14 months ago. Walczak took issue with a spokesman for Steward Health Care System, the parent company of Carney, who said Friday that Walczak had quit. “I did not resign from the Carney Hospital,’’ Walczak said Wednesday. ... President

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