Massachusetts Nurses Association Statement Applauding the Attorney General's Approval of Caritas Sale to Steward Health Care

Oct 06, 2010, 16:42 ET from Massachusetts Nurses Association

CANTON, Mass., Oct. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Massachusetts Nurses Association applauds the work of Attorney General Martha Coakley for her investigation and report issued today that will allow the transfer of the Caritas System to Steward Health Care System LLC, an affiliate of Cerberus Capitol Management, L.P.  The MNA, which represents more than 1,800 registered nurses and health professionals at four Caritas facilities including St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, Good Samaritan Medical Center, Carney Hospital, and Norwood Hospital, believes the Attorney General has restructured the agreement to ensure appropriate safeguards for both patients and employees served by the Caritas system. 

The proposed deal will help preserve health care access for community residents of the six Caritas hospitals, maintains the jobs of the current 12,000 Caritas employees, protects employees pension benefits, and will ensure more than $400 million in capital improvements to the health facilities, improvements that are desperately needed to allow these facilities to continue to provide high quality care to the communities they serve. 

Nurses are also gratified the Attorney General has extended the period by which hospitals may not be closed from three to five years, as well as prevented reductions in inpatient psychiatric and detoxification beds, while continuing the process of oversight by the state for five years to determine the impact of the sale on health care costs and access to services within the communities served by Caritas. 

The completion of this agreement and continuation of the Caritas system is essential for maintaining the health care safety net in Massachusetts, and the nurses at these facilities will continue to work with the new owners/policymakers within their respective communities to ensure the highest quality patient care. 

Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association is the largest professional health care organization and the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Its 23,000 members advance the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Legislature and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.

SOURCE Massachusetts Nurses Association