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Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island agrees to explore partnership with Care New England

Encouraged by the possibility of complementary services, enhanced patient care and the opportunity for strong growth into the future, Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island (MHRI) and Care New England (CNE) today announced they are entering partnership discussions in a joint statement released by Arthur DeBlois, acting president and chief executive officer of MHRI, and Dennis D. Keefe, president and CEO of Care New England.

More than a year ago, MHRI began the process of exploring opportunities for a partnership to help secure and strengthen its future while also enhancing patient care.

“Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island began exploring partnership opportunities that would allow us to continue providing quality health care services to our community, and also present opportunities for us to grow in the changing health care climate,” DeBlois said. "When we looked at our vision of the future and Care New England’s vision of the future, we saw that the two cultures of the institutions fit very strongly. We took that into consideration when coming to a decision about accepting Care New England’s proposal to enter partnership discussions.”

“This is a new world for health care, one in which organizations must offer a streamlined and broad array of services for patients of all ages. We believe the complementary services of Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island and the geographic span of their service area will enable us to create a high quality, high value continuum of care for the people of Rhode Island and our region,” Keefe said. “We look forward to studying partnership potentials and hopefully seeing our vision for the future of health care come to fruition together with Memorial.”

Care New England is the parent organization of Butler Hospital, Kent Hospital, Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island and the VNA of Care New England. It was founded in 1996, and includes 643 licensed beds. Through Butler and Women & Infants, Care New England has a teaching affiliation with The Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University. Kent is a teaching affiliate of the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island is a 294-bed facility in Pawtucket and a teaching affiliate of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. It operates the medical school’s Center for Primary Care and Prevention and includes strong disciplines in family and internal medicine. Memorial also operates the Center for Rehabilitation, an inpatient rehabilitation facility. Memorial has been an independent health care facility since its founding in 1894.

Today’s announcement paves the way for the two organizations to conduct due diligence and explore possible partnership models. The hope is that, following this exploration phase, the organizations will move forward and seek regulatory approval.

The Chairmen of the Board of Directors of each organization expressed great enthusiasm about the clinical, academic and cultural synergies manifest in a potential union.
“Since it was founded more than 100 years ago, Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island has been dedicated to providing health care services for our community. This potential partnership with Care New England will renew and strengthen that commitment,” said Robert P. Andrade, chairman of the Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island Board of Trustees. “We share the same vision and culture as the three founding hospitals of Care New England, and look forward to discussions that will allow us to join them as an equal partner.”

“While Care New England has a strong community hospital serving the greater Kent County area, unparalleled services in brain and behavioral health as well as women’s health and newborn pediatrics, and wide community presence through our VNA,” said George Shuster, chairman of the Care New England Board of Directors, “partnership with this acute care general hospital with strong community ties would enable us to round out our portfolio of services, specifically in primary care.
“But perhaps what is most exciting,” Shuster continued, “is the cultural fit that appears to be possible. Care New England and Memorial share vision and values which will enable us to advance our commitment to education and research, dedication to meeting the needs of the community, and a vibrant workplace which honors the proud traditions and identities of each of our partner organizations.”

Keefe affirmed this in saying, “Care New England has always encouraged each member to remain unique and true to its history and individual culture, and we would want Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island to continue cultivating its reputation for excellent community medicine. A partnership such as this would only bring strength to each partner, and better position us as a whole to create an accountable care model of health care for families.”

”We are very excited about the opportunity for growth and the ability to continue and enhance care for our patients through a potential partnership with Care New England,” DeBlois said. “In conjunction with our health care services, those offered by Care New England can provide a continuity of care for our patients throughout their lives.“

About Care New England
Care New England, located in Rhode Island, was founded in 1996 by Butler Hospital, Kent Hospital and Women & Infants Hospital. Care New England is an integrated health care system that offers a continuum of quality care. The system includes primary care and specialty physicians; two teaching hospitals affiliated with Brown Medical School, Butler and Women & Infants; a community hospital, Kent; a visiting nurse and home care agency, the VNA of Care New England; and Care New England Wellness Center. For more information, visit

About Memorial
Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island is a 294-bed teaching center affiliated with The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Memorial is the chief site for the medical school’s primary care academic program. Research focuses on primary care and disease prevention, including osteoarthritis, heart disease, cancer, pulmonary function, maternal and child health and women’s health issues. Memorial provides a full spectrum of health services for the people of Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts. Services include oncology, cardiovascular, rehabilitation, pain management, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics, 24-hour intensive care specialist coverage and diagnostics. Memorial offers primary care services at facilities in Pawtucket, Central Falls and Plainville, Massachusetts, and operates an adult day center, and home care program to provide a seamless system of medical care.


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