September 11, 2018
Eric Dickson, MD, MHCM, FACEP
President and CEO, UMass Memorial Health Care
55 Lake Avenue North
Worcester, MA 01655
We are writing to express our deep concerns about UMass Memorial Health Alliance’s response to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) dated August 31, 2018, regarding the planned closures of the pediatric unit and the cardiac and pulmonary rehab units at Leominster Hospital, as well as the urgent-care center at HealthAlliance’s Burbank campus in Fitchburg.
As elected officials representing Leominster, Fitchburg, and other communities that depend on these services, we agree with the Department of Public Health’s letter dated September 10, 2018, regarding your organization’s woefully inadequate engagement with the local community. UMass Memorial Health Alliance has failed to answer numerous serious questions about the impact of these closures on families in the area.
Our specific concerns:
Therefore, we the undersigned elected officials, request a meeting with you at the earliest possible time. We have a duty to ensure that the concerns of the families in our communities are being heard by the health care decision makers. As the chief executive of the UMass Medical, it is incumbent upon you to fully explain these ill-considered and reckless proposals.
Leominster City Councilor Sue Chalifoux Zephir
Fitchburg City Council President Michael Kushmerek
State Representative Stephan Hay
State Representative Natalie Higgins
State Representative Harold Naughton
Mayor of Fitchburg Stephen DiNatale
CC: Deborah Weymouth, FACHE, President and CEO, UMass Memorial Health Alliance-Clinton Hospital Marylou Sudders, Secretary, Massachusetts Executive Office of Health & Human Services Monica Bharel, MD, MPH, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Public Health