Rise Together: Building a stronger & more equitable Rhode Island - The Raimondo Administration
Rise Together: Building a stronger & more equitable Rhode Island - The Raimondo Administration

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Raimondo Stands Up to Protect Health Care Worker Jobs

Governor Gina M. Raimondo has secured commitments from Lifespan and CharterCare to work collaboratively with the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training to place health care workers from Memorial Hospital into vacant jobs in their systems if the Pawtucket hospital closes.

"If Memorial Hospital closes, no one should lose their job. I've spoken directly with senior leaders from Lifespan and CharterCare, and appreciate their commitment to hire workers from Memorial," said Governor Raimondo. "Every Rhode Islander deserves access to high-quality health care. The staff at Memorial care deeply about their patients, and we need to keep them working in Rhode Island and with Rhode Island patients."

Last week, Care New England announced that negotiations to sell the hospital to Prime Healthcare Foundation had ended and the network has submitted an application to the Department of Health to close Memorial's emergency department and inpatient units.

"As the leading health system and largest private employer in the state, Lifespan is constantly recruiting for high-quality health care talent," said Lifespan President & CEO Timothy J. Babineau, M.D. "We currently have several hundred vacant positions and will be pleased to interview any and all qualified candidates. In this rapidly evolving health care landscape, Lifespan is committed to doing all that we can to continue our mission of Delivering Health with Care and caring for our communities."

"While a regulatory review process is required to complete the closure of Memorial Hospital, care needs to continue to be provided at that facility at some level in the interim. However, CharterCARE Health Partners will welcome any Memorial/Care New England employee who becomes displaced or wishes to consider alternative job opportunities," said CharterCare CEO John Holiver. "We are confident that Memorial Hospital employees share the same commitment to deliver high quality, compassionate care that is CharterCARE's hallmark."

Should Memorial close, the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training will schedule a job fair for and will make staff available to work directly with the state's hospital networks to ensure smooth transitions for staff. Lifespan and CharterCare both report adequate levels of staff vacancies to help ensure that no health care worker from Memorial Hospital will be left without a job. Details about the job fair and other DLT services will be released as they are available.

"Our health care workforce is a strong backbone for our state's economy. Governor Raimondo is taking swift and clear action to ensure that the talented and committed health care workers at Memorial Hospital remain in Rhode Island," said DLT Director Scott Jensen. "Our department is ready to work with employees, labor and the state's leading hospital systems to ensure that no one loses their job if Memorial Hospital closes."

The Rhode Island Department of Health will follow its typical public process to consider Care New England's reverse certificate of need application.