Rhode Island regulators have given their final approval for the sale of Westerly Hospital to the New London-based Lawrence & Memorial Hospital.
The head of Rhode Island’s Department of Health and the state's Attorney General have signed off on the deal to sell Westerly to L&M. Now, the deal is expected to close June first. Westerly Hospital has been in receivership since 2011 and under the leadership of a special master. L&M spokesman Michael O’Farrell says the special master will stay on through the closing date.
Rhode Island authorities have until the end of April to make a decision about whether to allow the sale of Westerly Hospital to Connecticut-based Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, but on Wednesday members of the Westerly community will have the chance to comment on the proposed sale.
The Department of Health and the attorney general’s office have final say on the deal, but Attorney General Peter Kilmartin says public input helps to inform the decision.
Westerly Hospital is another step closer to being acquired by New London-based L&M Hospital.
Rhode Island’s department of health and the attorney general’s office say they’ve received a complete application from L&M. The state agencies now have 90 days to review it. If they accept L&M’s offer, Westerly could be the first hospital acquired under the state’s new Hospital Conversions Act.
Some local residents say they plan to protest Westerly Hospital’s recent decision to stop delivering babies later this summer.
Westerly resident Susan Kenyon has organized the Thursday evening candlelight vigil to take place at Westerly Middle School, right before a community meeting about Westerly Hospital’s future. She says she and other local residents are worried that shutting down the maternity ward could be dangerous for pregnant women.