Fontaine to governor: Take action on Landmark

Fontaine to governor: Take action on Landmark

WOONSOCKET - Citing ongoing delays and obstacles to completion of the purchase of Landmark Medical Center by Prime Healthcare Services, Woonsocket Mayor Leo Fontaine is calling on Gov. Lincoln Chafee to take action to move the proposal through state bureaucracy.

"There is no mystery that the passage of time undermines the financial integrity of Landmark Medical Center," said Fontaine, in a letter to Chafee dated June 25. "Mounting debt and severe operational constraints reduce northern Rhode Island's only hospital facility to a grave state of uncertainty and weariness, conveniently creating a self-fulfilling prophecy offered by those opposed to the transaction for their own self-interested reasons."

The plea comes after three years of failed and fledging attempts to purchase the financially burdened hospital by potential buyers. The purchase is governed by the state's complex Hospital Conversion Act, and as such subject to extensive government oversight. Hospital chain Prime came forward as a buyer after a previous deal with Steward Health Services fell through last year. Prime is reportedly still in the process of working towards final approval of the deal.

"The people of the city of Woonsocket are well within their rights to expect - even demand - that state government resolves the proposed sale of Landmark to Prime without any further delay. From my perspective, it is incumbent upon you, as governor, to use the formal oversight authority and persuasive power of your leadership position to get to the bottom of this situation and end the pointless, destructive foot-dragging associated with the review process."