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Sun., Dec. 21
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MMH releases report recommending that hospital become independent non-profit organization

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MASSENA - A report released by Massena Memorial Hospital officials late Thursday afternoon recommends that the hospital continue to move toward an independent non-profit status.

Hospital officials said in the news release that they had developed a comprehensive report reflecting what they have learned during the public information process designed to help determine the hospital’s future.

The report has been delivered to the Massena Town Board, posted to www.futureofmmh.org, given to the department managers to share with the staff and is available at hospital.

Earlier this year, the hospital’s Board of Managers recommended to the Massena Town Board that the hospital would best be able to continue providing local, quality hospital care and good jobs by transitioning to an independent non-profit organization. Currently, MMH is the only remaining town-owned hospital in the state.

MMH officials say they recognize how important this decision is to the entire community “and wanted to make sure we had the best thinking from the entire community. We thank everyone who attended a meeting, visited www.futureofmmh.org, took a survey or made a suggestion.”

Though a number of ideas were developed, considered and pursued, hospital officials said the MMH Board of Managers stands by its recommendation that the hospital become an independent non-profit.

“Becoming a nonprofit is the only solution that allows MMH to do the two things it needs to do to survive: drastically reduce operating costs by exiting the NYS (New York state) pension system with its more than $4 million a year obligation; and fully collaborate with other health care institutions, which MMH can’t do as a municipal entity,” they said.

During the public information process, hospital officials said their finances continued to worsen.

“Without definitive action, MMH will be forced to close no later than 2017 and perhaps much sooner,” they said.

Hospital spokeswoman Tina R. Corcoran said hospital officials had been encouraged to gather feedback at the recommendation fro the Board of Managers to transition to a non-profit status. The report, she said, summarizes their discussions with residents and business people in the community.

“Over the course of 2.5 months, we have met with a number of community organizations and groups, including the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club and local senior citizens, to share information and hear their views and suggestions. The Public Information Program, PIP, meetings ultimately confirm that the hospital board’s difficult decision to change the corporate status is needed,” she said.

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