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RI, CT hospitals eye merger

The Westerly Sun, September 15, 2011

Charles S. Kinney, president/CEO of The Westerly Hospital, says an alignment of services between the hospital and Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London could lead to more patients and jobs in Westerly. Speaking to the Town Council, Monday night, Kinney said he has been asked why L&M would be interested in aligning with The Westerly Hospital. "They have more patients than they have capacity right now," Kinney said. The two hospitals announced late last month that they were examining how they might work together in a strategic alliance. "We call it that because we are not sure if it's going to be a merger, whether it's going to be an affiliation, we're not sure of the final legal structure," Kinney said. The announcement has caused community anxiety and rumors regarding the possible reduction of services at The Westerly Hospital, Kinney said. Eliminating services is a possibility, he said, but he emphasized that no decisions had been made. William McKendree, chairman of the Westerly Hospital Healthcare board of trustees, said it was also possible that L&M could shift some services to Westerly.