To the Editor,
The op-ed piece written by Dr. Michael Dacey in last week’s edition of the Warwick Beacon contains multiple factual inaccuracies, which not only cloud the truth but demonstrate a total misunderstanding about and critique of Kent Hospital and its parent organization, Care New England.
The “numerous destructive economic effects” are false and without merit. Nowhere in any documentation or discussion is there a reference to a loss of 1,000 jobs. The mere concept is absolutely ludicrous given the great demand for more health care workers, especially in these critical times. With over 3,000 vacancies, how can anyone contemplate such an assumption? Kent will not see a diminution of services with consolidations in the Providence area. If one took the time to review the documents, there is commitment to no such reductions, especially in the critical clinical areas at Kent. The interventional cardiology program is a jewel among jewels at Kent, with outcomes that rival the best in class, right here in central Rhode Island. Hundreds of lives are saved each year, and to suggest a reduction in services, rendering Kent Hospital anything less than it is currently, is simply a falsehood. This type of assumption sends shivers through everyone at Kent, our dedicated and amazing teams, and is an unnecessary scare tactic in these trying times.
For someone entirely distant from healthcare in RI to assume “it will fail in the end” is just hard to fathom. The planning and financial diligence performed to date proves just the opposite. Referring to financial assumptions from five years ago is just not worthy of a comment with the rate of change in healthcare.
Finally, the solution of breaking the system apart ignores the fundamentals of what CNE is. It is a health care system whose mission is to serve its community. And, Kent Hospital is an essential element of academic health care, with over 100 residents, and is the site of Brown’s Family Medicine Residency.
I want to make sure every reader understands one very important thing. Kent Hospital is an extremely high-quality hospital dedicated to the citizens of our region. And, any attack such as this requires addressing. Our staff throughout Kent and CNE - from bedside clinical staff to those in back office functions - are the most resilient folks I’ve ever seen in my over four decades of work. They should be congratulated and held in the highest esteem and any diminution of their importance in the delivery of health care in Rhode Island is simply preposterous.
James E. Fanale, MD, president and CEO,
Care New England Health System