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Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York

Fahd continuing hospital privatization talks around Massena community

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MASSENA - Massena Memorial Hospital’s chief executive officer says he’s continuing to share a presentation about the need for the hospital to become a not-for-profit facility in appearance around the community.

“I continue on my public information program trek out there,” Charles F. Fahd II told his board of managers this week. “We’ve talked to the Rotary Club and the Massena Chamber of Commerce on two different events. Last week we talked with the Massena Senior Citizens.”

Employee sessions are being held this week, as is a presentation at the spring luncheon for the Massena Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, he said.

“I have yet to schedule Massena Central School and a few other organizations. They wanted to wait until after the budget vote,” Mr. Fahd said.

One group that has declined an invitation for Mr. Fahd to come and speak is Alcoa.

“We asked (Alcoa) if we could meet with them. They initially said yes. We had three dates set up with them,” he said.

Those dates had been scheduled for May 20-22. But since the initial yes, Alcoa has decided to reverse course, according to Mr. Fahd.

“We did receive an email from their PR individual suggesting they had decided they’d rather not have us come at this point in time,” he said.

Beginning with a presentation to the Massena Town Council, Mr. Fahd has been traveling around the community to explain the financial need for the hospital to convert from a municipally-owned facility to a not-for-profit.

The hospital’s board of managers has already elected to move forward with plans to make the hospital a not-for-profit facility based on a Freed Maxick Healthcare study, which says the hospital will be bankrupt by 2017 if it maintains the status quo. Freed Maxick Healthcare had been hired by the hospital’s Board of Managers to assist them with the study toward possible privatization.

The ultimate decision on the hospital’s status rests now with the Massena Town Council.

Town officials, however, have requested a “Plan B” that explores alternatives other than privatization to save the hospital $8 million over the next three years. That plan will likely include wage freezes and a change in health insurance benefits. Hospital officials are working with Freed Maxick Healthcare to develop the “Plan B” option to present to town officials.

Mr. Fahd’s presentation is available online at a “micro-site” set up by Massena Memorial Hospital at www.futureofmmh.org. Visitors to the site can download Mr. Fahd’s presentation and a fact sheet, both in a PDF format, as well as submit questions and comments. There is also a page with frequently asked questions.

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