memorial hospital

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Here’s what’s happening in health care in Rhode Island.

Benjamin Bouvier, Elliott Liebling / RIPR

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates nearly a third of Americans are pre-diabetic. Many more are already diabetic. 

Here's what's happening in health in Rhode Island:

Memorial Hospital

  Advocates for Memorial Hospital are keeping up their fight to stop the closure of the hospital’s birthing center. They’re calling for a halt while the hospital's parent company, Care New England, considers a merger with Southcoast Health System.

photo by Megan Hall

Consolidation is the name of the health care game right now – but is it good for patients?

Let's review what's in the works in our state right now:

Memorial Hospital

A nurses’ union has sued Memorial Hospital’s parent company, Care New England, to try to maintain obstetrics and other services at the Pawtucket-based community hospital. They're asking regulators to look for more alternatives to maintaining the hospital as it is.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss changes in Rhode Island's healthcare landscape, how lawmakers will address the proposed legalization of marijuana, and the outlook on improving public education.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The state health department must approve the proposal, but officials are seeking public input before making a decision.

More than 100 people gathered at a community center in Pawtucket to express their views on the proposed closure. Most urged health department officials to deny Memorial’s request because of their belief that the hospital provides women a birth experience like no other. Stacey Nichols had both of her children at Memorial Hospital.

Coalition to Save Memorial Birthing Center

Protestors gathered outside Care New England headquarters today, opposing plans to close the birthing center at Memorial Hospital. The health care organization announced plans to close the unit to trim costs. But, the state's health department has to approve that plan first.

Memorial Hospital

Reactions continue to the potential shuttering of Memorial Hospital’s birthing center. Nurse midwives who work with the center say they’re concerned about narrowing options for pregnant women.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Memorial Hospital plans to shut down several units at its Pawtucket location. Hospital officials announced births will move either to Kent Hospital or Women and Infants. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket has won federal funding to train more primary care doctors. The program is focused on caring for kids in poor communities. And the hope is that trainees will decide to stay on after their residencies. The grant will help residents see more children in the hospital's family medicine clinics, add mental health services, and teach residents more about the social determinants of health.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Kristin Gourlay joins Elisabeth Harrison in the studio to talk about the growing importance of primary care in the health care industry.

Central Falls' community health center is at capacity, officials say, in its current building. Now, Blackstone Valley Community Health Care has acquired a three-story medical building from Memorial Hospital for $720,000 at 1000 Broad St. in Central Falls.

Health center officials say they plan to move in toward the end of 2016, when $5 million dollars in renovations are complete. The new center will be able to accommodate more than 10,000 patients and will add about a dozen new clinicians.

In a ceremonial signing, Care New England and Memorial Hospital will formalize a new partnership Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for Memorial Hospital said that three first responders were treated there for heat exhaustion after battling a five-alarm fire at a chemical company in Central Falls. Dyana Koelsch said none of those first responders had been admitted to the hospital.

Temperatures crested 90 degrees today, adding to dangerous conditions for firefighters and rescue workers.

The fire started today in an old mill building, most likely during a mixing process that involved toxic chemicals.

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