A magazine for friends of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

End of an Era


Memorial Hospital closes its doors.

Citing a declining patient base and years of operating losses, Care New England announced in November that it would close Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island. The decision came after negotiations with Prime Healthcare Foundation to buy the hospital failed to reach mutually agreeable terms.

In announcing the closure, CNE said that the 294-bed hospital “had averaged a daily inpatient census of just 15 to 20 patients resulting in an operating loss in the past fiscal year of $23 million.” The health system filed its application for a reverse certificate of need with the Rhode Island Department of Health in November. The closure was approved provided CNE continues to offer outpatient care at the location.

James Fanale, MD, president and CEO of CNE, says the health system has been working closely with the mayor of Pawtucket and the governor’s office to address the impact the closure will have on employees and the community.

“CNE is committed to the future of community-based care in the Blackstone Valley,” Fanale says. “This speaks to the changing landscape of health care and the needs of the patients in that region. We are developing a robust program of outpatient care that will be an important resource there. In addition, specific to the residency programs, we remain optimistic in their future here and their critical role in the growth and development of highly skilled physicians.”

Hospital leadership also has been working with the Warren Alpert Medical School to ensure continuity of the residency programs in family medicine and internal medicine. As the sponsoring institution of the residencies, the hospital requested permission from both the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to move both residencies to Kent Hospital, a CNE facility in Warwick, RI.

Kent also will become the academic home of the Department of Family Medicine. “We’ve worked with CNE to develop a plan that would serve our faculty, allow residents to have high-quality inpatient and outpatient training sites, and maintain the level of care for the community,” says Jack A. Elias, MD, senior vice president for health affairs and dean of medicine and biological sciences. “I’m confident moving things to Kent will accomplish those goals.”

The Family Care and Internal Medicine centers, which provide primary care to thousands of community residents, will continue to see patients in Pawtucket. Family medicine and internal medicine residents will continue to see patients in these locations with their attending physicians as part of their outpatient training.


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