Hospital Hosts Community Gathering

    Special Master Mark Russo addresses the audience

The Westerly Hospital hosted a gathering recently at the Hospital.  Approximately 150 people attended the “Community Gathering” on Wednesday, July 18.  Special Master Mark Russoprovided an update and timeline on the process of the Mastership, including that a new buyer or partner could be in place by the end of the year.  This will depend on the outcome of negotiations with bidders, and the determination of a final bidder by Superior Court Associate Justice Brian Stern, following a sales hearing that Mr. Russo anticipates will being around August 27.  Review by RI state regulators will follow the judge’s decision.

The Hospital’s Vice President of Clinical Services Margaret Austin, talked about four new programs being developed to meet existing and growing needs in the community.  These include the installation of a new 1.5 Tesla open bore MRI unit at the Hospital’s Granite Street Imaging Center; new construction to house a 15-bed inpatient and outpatient geriatric psychiatry facility; the establishment of a sleep study center in existing space at the Hospital, with Dr. Niall Duhigserving as medical director; and the development of a comprehensive breast health center to be directed by Dr. Jeffrey Christian.  Mark Russo acknowledged the dedication of hospital physicians and staff on remaining focused on the provision of excellent quality healthcare over the past several months.

Westerly Town Manager, Steven Hartford, reviewed the role of the Westerly Hospital Area Residents Committee in the selection of the best new partner or owner for the Hospital, and he described the Committee’s current activities.

Refreshments for the event were generously donated by local restaurants The Andrea Hotel, Maria’s Seaside Café, and the Pleasant View Inn.