2009 News

MetroWest Leonard Morse nurses make appeal to community leaders


From the Massachusetts Nurse Newsletter
May 2009 Edition

spacer MetroWest Leonard Morse Chair, Lynn Shaw RN, testifies before the Framingham Planning Board opposing a new surgical center in Framingham.

Nurses from MetroWest Medical Center, Leonard Morse Campus which serves as the health care safety net for the towns of Natick and Framingham, expressed their strong opposition to allowing Partners Healthcare to establish a new surgical center in Framingham at both the Framingham Planning Board and the Natick Board of Selectmen meetings. Newton-Wellesley already has an ambulatory care center in Natick, where they offer mammograms, bone density tests and cardiac ultrasound. All of these services are available through MetroWest Medical Center. Further capacity for these services is not needed.

Policy makers are beginning to realize the competitive model in health care is not in the best interests of communities, patients and the citizens of the commonwealth.

QuoteIn their remarks at both meetings nurses stated that in this economic climate, we cannot afford to allow the expansion of one institution to the detriment of another. They pointed to Senate President Theresa Murray’s recent call for increased scrutiny prior to building new clinics or hospitals which undermine existing facilities, and underscored that the time has come for a new approach.

As frontline caregivers, Leonard Morse nurses feel that this proposed surgi-center will affect their ability to serve the needs of their community. If this facility takes patients from their system at MetroWest, the expansion threatens the financial viability of their hospital. At Leonard Morse Hospital, and throughout Natick, rumors abound about how the difficult financial climate and how their system’s compromised financial health could lead to the closing of services, or worse, the closing of Leonard Morse altogether.

Leonard Morse nurses told community leaders at both meetings that there must be a plan to maintain and possibly expand MetroWest Medical Center in order to care for an aging population that requires the full range of vital health care services they provide.

In addition to their presence at these town meetings, the nurses have begun coalition building efforts with other individuals and organizations in the community who share their concerns about the preservation of MetroWest Medical Center facilities and services.