With Steward Health Care System and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island continuing to discuss the sale of Landmark Medical Center, U.S. Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) today publicly urged the parties to commit themselves to a successful resolution that will allow the health care facility to continue serving Northern Rhode Island families.
"For the last four years, families in Northern Rhode Island have waited anxiously to see if Landmark Medical Center would continue to serve those with urgent health care needs. It's long past time to put an end to these doubts and ensure that Landmark stays open for business," said Cicilline. "That's why, today, I am once again urging that Steward and Blue Cross commit themselves to a successful agreement on the sale of Landmark in the near future."
Cicilline, who represents Woonsocket in the United States House of Representatives, has actively promoted the sale for much of the past year. In January, the first-term Congressman was joined by Woonsocket Mayor Leo Fontaine for a press conference highlighting the importance of the facility for Northern Rhode Island residents.
Last April, Cicilline testified on the importance of ensuring that Landmark stays open before a hearing held in Woonsocket by Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin and the Rhode Island Department of Health. In meetings with constituents, Cicilline has repeatedly stressed the importance of protecting Landmark both for the people who work there and the patients who receive much-needed health care services. Landmark currently employs 1,200 people and provides health care to 175,000 patients. In addition, its continued operations would mean investments in on-site construction projects, supporting Rhode Island jobs.
"There is so much at stake right now -- this sale is important not just for the parties at the negotiating table but also for families throughout Northern Rhode Island," added Cicilline. "I am encouraging Steward and Blue Cross to work through their disagreements on the details of this sale so that Landmark can continue to provide critical health care services for families in the northern part of our state and livelihoods for the men and women who work there."
Landmark's continued solvency first fell under doubt in 2008 when it entered receivership following years of financial difficulties. Attorney General Kilmartin conditionally approved the sale of Landmark to Boston-based Steward Health Care System in May 2012. As a result of guidelines established by the Attorney General's office, Steward has until August 31st to complete negotiations on the sale.