PROVIDENCE, RI- Today Governor Gina M. Raimondo announced she has asked Lifespan, Care New England and Brown University to resume negotiations and determine whether they can come to an agreement that would create a locally-run, academic medical center in Rhode Island.
"A thriving hospital system is critical to the health care of all Rhode Islanders. Over the past several months I have increasingly heard from a number of stakeholders and understand the appeal of a locally-run, academic medical center based in Rhode Island. With that in mind, I have called on Care New England, Lifespan and Brown to sit down once again and consider a joint solution. While I have little control over private hospital systems, I do have the ability to bring these parties together and ask them to reconvene negotiations on a crucial decision that will impact all Rhode Islanders for decades," said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. "Partners is one of the best medical systems in the country, and we appreciate their interest in Rhode Island. Whether or not Rhode Island affiliates with a larger system at some point, I believe creating a more integrated, locally-run, academic structure first is what's in the best interest of Rhode Islanders now and in the long run."
"In order to give this effort the best possible chance for success and to provide maximum flexibility to the governor and the leadership of these three institutions, we will be withdrawing our application to acquire CNE. We look forward to reengaging at the appropriate time – especially with a fully integrated local system. We greatly value our relationship in Rhode Island and want to do what's best for the state and its citizens," said Anne Klibanski, M.D., Interim President and CEO, Partners HealthCare.
"We are pleased that the Governor has taken this important first step to achieve a vision that has eluded the state for more than two decades. We are confident that with the good faith efforts of all the parties involved, we will finally achieve the vision of unified academic health care system for the state of Rhode Island that will have a positive impact on patient care and our economy for years to come. We are excited to get this effort underway," said Timothy J. Babineau, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Lifespan and Lawrence Aubin, chair, Lifespan board of directors.
"Care New England is committed to providing the best health care possible throughout the state. We appreciate the Governor's dedication and commitment, and respect the importance of a possible Rhode Island Solution involving CNE, Lifespan, and Brown University. To that end, we have agreed to further explore the feasibility of this option and will begin discussions in earnest immediately because it is simply too important for Rhode Island's future," said James E. Fanale, MD, President and CEO, Care New England. "I must also acknowledge the hard work and focused energy the staff across CNE has put forward into strengthening our organization and enhancing care provided across all of our facilities. Further, I look forward to the continuation of our existing clinical affiliation with our Partners/Brigham Health colleagues as we explore this opportunity locally in depth. The programs in place already - cardiology, colorectal, thoracic, and vascular surgery - will continue to grow and provide high quality care for our patients."
"I respect Governor Raimondo's decision to reconvene Care New England, Lifespan and Brown for discussions about the future of Rhode Island healthcare. Brown has a long history of advocating for an integrated academic medical center that provides exceptional healthcare and medical education, and generates biomedical innovation that fuels job growth in the state. I look forward to these discussions, and I hope we can develop the beginnings of a framework that will serve the best interests of Rhode Islanders for years to come," said Brown President Christina Paxson.
The Governor has called on the parties to work quickly over the summer to identify if they can move forward successfully. The Rhode Island Foundation and The Partnership for Rhode Island are providing financial support for consultant work.
"It is encouraging that Brown, Care New England, and Lifespan have agreed to come back to the table to work toward creation of a locally-controlled, integrated academic medical center - one that will provide cost-effective, quality care to all Rhode Islanders. We've supported the concept for some time, in alignment with the Foundation's strategic focus on improving the health of our state's residents; and we're glad to provide resources to this effort," said Neil D. Steinberg, President & CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation.
"We are excited about the prospect of a local solution that prioritizes quality, affordable care. Rhode Island's health care institutions are a major driver of our economic future and their success is imperative to attracting and retaining companies. We support a new approach to finding a way to bring Brown, Care New England, and Lifespan together that includes fresh leadership and a renewed commitment to world-class health care for all Rhode Islanders," said Tom Giordano, Executive Director, Partnership for Rhode Island.