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Care New England, UNAP Reach Agreement to Keep up to 200 Healthcare Jobs at Memorial

Tuesday, December 19, 2017


The United Nurses and Allied Professionals (UNAP) Local 5082 and representatives from Care New England (CNE) have come to an agreement to keep as many as 200 jobs at Memorial Hospital.

“We are pleased that this agreement creates a tangible plan for the continuation of important healthcare services and jobs in Pawtucket and the Blackstone Valley. Part of the agreement requires the parties to actively work with local officials in reaching out to the community to advance this model and the UNAP looks forward to doing its part,” said Chris Callaci, UNAP general counsel in a statement on Monday morning. 

The agreement comes after UNAP filed a lawsuit in Superior Court last week in an effort to preserve healthcare services and jobs at Memorial.

As a result of the agreement, the filing has been withdrawn.

“We are grateful to Mayors Grebien and Diossa for advocating not only on behalf of the people of their communities, but for urging that UNAP be brought into the process. We worked well and quickly with CNE leaders on this particular agreement and hope to continue in a relationship of mutual trust and respect moving forward,” Callaci said.

“Today’s update to the community represents the collaboration and determination of CNE, 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 James Fanale, MD, CNE Executive Vice President "As we move forward with this plan, we do so with a patient- and community-centered focus demonstrating our commitment to the Blackstone Valley and health care throughout the entire state. This means we must adapt to the changes by moving towards the future of health care.”


The Agreement

Per the terms of the agreement, the following services are expected to continue on the campus of Memorial Hospital:

Family Care and Internal Medicine Centers: At the site in Pawtucket primary care physicians and nurse practitioners will provide comprehensive health care services in the outpatient clinic setting.  What this means is that they will continue to treat general medical needs and provide care for a vast array of non-emergency health conditions. For example, primary care providers treat acute medical conditions such as the common cold, sinus infections, stomach problems and skin rashes, but they also treat chronic health problems such as depression, asthma, high blood pressure, and allergies. This also includes services currently provided in the Family Care Center by a part-time nutritionist and by a part-time psychologist. They also provide preventive care and coordinate any specialty care patients need, treating each as a whole person with unique experiences and concerns. These will continue to be delivered in a way that is patient-centered, coordinated and committed to quality and safety. Currently, the Family Care and Internal Medicine Centers have approximately 20,000 patient primary care visits per year. It CNE’s hope that it will be able to maintain a comparable volume of patient activity at the Pawtucket site.

Ancillary Services: There will be certain ancillary services commonly associated with primary care practices, such as plain-film X-rays (chest films and bone x-rays), mammograms and phlebotomy (blood draws for lab work). CNE hopes to contract for physical and occupational therapy services at our Pawtucket location and to provide diabetes education by certified diabetes educators.

Physician Specialties: Subject to retaining grant funding associated with research in pediatric neurodevelopment, CNE plans to continue the pediatrics and pediatric neurodevelopment practices. CNE also expects to make available rotating physician specialty consultations at our primary care site in Pawtucket as appropriate to complement the primary care practice. Initially, the planned specialties include oncology, cardiology (including some cardiology testing), dermatology, pulmonary medicine, sleep medicine and general and orthopedic surgery. CNE will also continue anticoagulation/coumadin clinic services as currently provided at the site. CNE will need to find physicians who are willing to contract to provide several of these services and develop plans that consider feasibility and patient demand and because it wants to assure that the services it offers there can be sustained in the long term.

Walk-in Clinic Services: CNE is developing a plan to provide walk-in services to help serve the needs of community members who need ready access to healthcare but do not require hospital-level care. This will be helped by the ability to access the physicians and ancillary services CNE will have at our site in Pawtucket and address the needs of many patients who need quick access to care in the local community. Many patients who present in emergency departments do not require hospital-level care and CNE believes we will be able to help serve the needs of these patients who would otherwise have presented at an emergency department but are appropriate for outpatient primary care walk-in clinic services for injuries and ailments such as cuts, sprains, and strains, minor traumas, cold, flu and headache. As of now, CNE plans for the walk-in clinic to be open 8:00-5:00 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday and 8:00 to 8:00 on Wednesdays. People coming to the clinic for care will not need to be existing patients of CNE physician practices to seek primary or urgent care on a walk-in basis and CNE will not turn away any patients based on insurance or ability to pay.


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