south county hospital

South County Hospital wants to clarify how it plans to work with other health care systems. Hospital officials now say the word “partnership” doesn’t adequately describe their plans.

South County Hospital CFO Tom Breen recently told Rhode Island Public Radio his organization wants to partner with another, larger health care system to improve service for patients. South County CEO Lou Giancola now says the word “partner” doesn’t mean the hospital is looking for a new owner.

There’s only one independent hospital left in Rhode Island. But South County Hospital is ramping up efforts to find a partner.

South County Hospital in Wakefield has been looking for a partner to help boost its prospects. At one time the 100-bed facility was reportedly exploring a relationship with an out-of-state health system. But South County CFO Tom Breen says he’d like to find a local partner.

“We are still looking," said Breen. "Again we certainly feel there are great systems in Rhode Island. How we work with them has yet to be determined.”

Rhode Island’s only independent hospital – South County – announced plans to enter talks with a nonprofit chain about a possible affiliation.

According to a statement, South County Hospital will begin exclusive talks with Southcoast Health System to explore a possible alliance. Southcoast is a nonprofit chain of hospitals, including St. Luke’s in New Bedford and Charlton Memorial in Fall River. South County is Rhode Island’s only remaining independent nonprofit hospital serving patients in southern Rhode Island.