By Lindsay Carey
Both Hartford HealthCare and the Town Council have recently made public statements regarding the future of Bradley Memorial Hospital.
In a Hartford HealthCare press release, the company said that it will continue to work on plans with the Bradley Community Advisory Committee, assembled of leaders from community organizations, local politicians and its own staff.
In response to public outcry, Hartford Healthcare has agreed to halt application for a Certificate of Need (CON) to close the inpatient unit at the hospital.
Hartford HealthCare’s newest statement said that the Bradley campus will remain open as is “for the foreseeable future,” while working with the Bradley Community Advisory Committee on future plans.
“We want to work together for a solution that ultimately meets the health care needs of Southington for years to come,” said President of Hartford HealthCare’s Central Region Lucille Janatka, in the release.
Susan Sadecki, from the Main Street Foundation, which administers the Bradley Barnes Memorial Trust, said at Monday’s Town Council meeting that the foundation has committed a $100,000 grant from the trust to support a study by a leading healthcare strategy firm to create a sustainability plan for the hospital.
In the recent release, Hartford Healthcare said it would move forward with constructing and developing a facility on Queen Street. This family health center will be used for urgent and primary care and other non-emergency health services, the release stated.
On Monday, the Town Council released a letter written to the Public Health Commissioner, in support of resident’s desires to keep the hospital open, something it promised residents at a recent meeting.
“We, the members of the Southington Town Council on Aug. 11, 2014 unanimously agreed with our citizens that we absolutely need a fully functioning hospital and emergency department,” stated the letter.
In the letter, the council also criticized Hartford Healthcare for a perceived lack of communication. Last year, Councilor Cheryl Lounsbury invited representatives from Hartford HealthCare to a Town Council meeting to address rumors that the hospital would be closing down. The guests assured the council that the hospital would remain open. A recent meeting between the public and Hartford Healthcare representatives covered the same territory. “Members of Hartford HealthCare did not communicate this plan with the community and we feel it is essential that our citizens be engaged in all discussions concerning the future of health care in our community,” stated the letter. “We thank Hartford HealthCare for not proceeding with their plans to close Bradley at this time, and earnestly hope that this gesture becomes permanent.”
Town Council members Michael Riccio, Victoria Triano and Chris Palmieri are on the Bradley Community Advisory Committee and plan to use their voice on the committee to support the hospital remaining open.
“We have taken action, in support of many residents who wish to see Bradley Memorial Hospital remain open. Several of us will be serving on a committee to affect the outcome that so many desire,” Riccio said in a statement accompanying the letter. “We are one voice, speaking for the council and the administration to say that all of the news about Bradley Hospital is as new to us as it is to the general public.”
By Lindsay Carey