Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Pawtucket 03-27-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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2 PAWTUCKET MARCH 27-APRIL 2, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE | PAWTUCKET EDITION PAWTUCKET – At the very least, says Mayor Donald Grebien, Care New England should bear the costs of making the vacant Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island space on Brewster Street "pad ready" for future development. Grebien told The Breeze offi- cials remain "very concerned about the lack of commitment to Pawtucket and northern Rhode Island" as part of a proposed merger of Care New England and Partners HealthCare. The need for additional emergency services is obvious, he said, and the delays and impacts to everyday Rhode Islanders are overburdening the other emergency rooms throughout the state. "A solution needs to be factored into the Care New England and Partners merger," he said. The hospital group must take responsibility for the issues it created, he emphasized. The health provider needs to provide the city "with land ready for develop- ment," he said. The cost rehab- bing the former hospital has been said to be very expensive. "They can't just walk away. These issues need to be worked out in concert with the approval for a CNE/Partners merger," Grebien said. "I would also encourage our state leaders to ensure that there are detailed plans to keep services acces- sible and affordable for Rhode Islanders, and an ability to hold them to those promised." The Pawtucket area has been without a hospital, emergency room and necessary services for more than a year after CNE shut down Memorial Hospital, said the mayor. The city, along with the Rhode Island Department of Health, have been meeting regularly with Care New England with no suc- cess." A representative for CNE did not respond to a request for comment. In 2013, Grebien said, Care New England made the case to the state that the company was capable of taking over Memorial Hospital. "They made promises of both quality care and a coordinated system of care," said the mayor. "They reneged on that commit- ment and dismantled the hos- pital piece by piece. Pawtucket and the Blackstone Valley paid the price for their poor business decision. Right after the state was done monitoring the hospi- tal purchase, they began shut- ting down services." Reviving a frequent criticism, Grebien said CNE diverted patients away from Memorial Hospital to make the case that services weren't needed. They closed the obstetrics unit, removed orthopedics and other specialty services, downsized the intensive care unit to four beds, and cut the number of inpatients in half, he said. "This was all done years before they requested the clo- sure of the hospital," he said. "Since their closure, area emer- gency rooms are overloaded and wait times immediately spiked, while placing added burdens on our local rescues and emergency services." Grebien calls out CNE on not protecting Pawtucket By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Managing Editor ethan@valleybreeze.com 'Secret hero' fundraiser supports honoring Father McCabe PAWTUCKET – The Galway Bay Irish Pub, 156 South Bend St., will host a fundrais- er for the Father Patrick McCabe Memorial on Saturday, April 6, at 2 p.m. The event is titled "Remembering the Fenians, Father Patrick McCabe: The Secret Hero." Music will be provided by the Hibernians, Brian Twohey and more. All proceeds benefit the Fenian Memorial Committee of America for the purchase and installation of a memo- rial marker honoring Father Patrick McCabe. The Fenian Memorial Committee of America has its roots intertwined with the story of the voyage of the Catalpa, a whaling vessel which sailed from New Bedford, Mass., with the intent of rescuing a small group of Fenians who had been sentenced to a life of servitude in the infamous Fremantle prison in Western Australia for treason against the crown. Six men were rescued and brought to America in 1876. They eventually distrib- uted themselves, with the help of supporters, throughout different states, including Rhode Island, where James McNally Wilson settled, lived out his life and was buried. "Many 'secret' heroes helped all of this come true, but Father Patrick McCabe was an essential one for these six men, as he had been for John Boyle O'Reilly, who had ear- lier escaped from the same prison," states a release. After the Catalpa escape, McCabe had to flee Australia and eventually he found a home in the wilds of southern Minnesota tending to mainly Irish immigrant farmers. The Fenian Memorial Committee of America has placed markers and tombstones at the graves of four of the Catalpa Six and is now raising funds to do the same for McCabe, of Gowna, Co. Cavan. He is bur- ied in St. Mary's Cemetery, outside Waseca, Minn. GREBIEN

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