Last year administrators at Caritas Carney Hospital were preparing for the worst, outpatient services were down, insurance payments did not cover costs, and it looked as though state funding was going to be curtailed. The equivalent of 50 full-time positions were cut in March 2008. Since then, however, much of the news has been positive, and now there's a new ray of light.
The State House's Dorchester delegation was able to lobby effectively with Gov. Deval Patrick to level fund Essential Providers Fund money to the Carney at $4 million. The size of the entire fund has been shrinking over the years, but the Carney received the same amount in 2008 and 2007.
"At first we weren't sure if we were going to get the money at all or it was going to be significantly reduced," said state Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry. "I want to thank the Governor and his team for seeing the importance of the Carney to the community. This is really critical and I'm happy that he supported it."
Carney President Dan O'Leary said the hospital is in much better shape financially than it was a year ago, thanks to the funding, increased investment from parent company Caritas Christi Health Care, and new CEO Ralph de la Torre. Gov. Deval Patrick called O'Leary Wednesday morning to announce the funding.
"At the end of the day it is obviously a terrific moment for the Carney and a huge affirmation of our mission from the Governor, the secretary's office, and the legislature," said O'Leary. "Carney is a better place this year than it was last year. We have taken very aggressive actions. In some ways the difficulties we experienced last year caused us to move earlier on this than some other hospitals and that helped us out. If people hadn't worked so hard to explain the importance of the Carneyâ€¦ I'm just very pleased and grateful."
"This is an example of when the Dorchester delegation sticks together, Rep. Marie St. Fleur, Sen. Jack Hart, Linda Dorcena Forry, all of them helped out on this," said state Rep. Marty Walsh. "This is a year of uncertainty and this is a bit of good news in it."