The Waltham High school auditorium was full to overflowing last night, while police in the streets were turning away hundreds more who were attempting to attend a public hearing held by the Department of Public Health for Deaconess Waltham Hospital. More than 90 people spoke at the hearing, making the case for Waltham Hospital to remain open as a vital health care safety net for Waltham and surrounding communities. Below you will find articles from the media concerning this event. The Coalition to Save Waltham Hospital has been working since Jan. 11th to convince the state and Care Group to work with concerned citizens, employees, physicians and nurses to keep the facility open.
Unimpeachable evidence was presented last night detailing the devastation this closing would cause in the form of increased ER diversions at surrounding hospitals, the loss of vital psychiatric services, and the loss of access to necessary medical services for thousands of Waltham citizens. The coalition has since incorporated as non-profit organization and is prepared to take over the hospital as an independent community hospital. The city of Waltham has offered $2 million in funding if the state will match another $2 million and a local developer has pledged significant funds to augment this amount.
The Coalition is urging the state to assist in providing funding and in working with the coalition to convince Care Group to negotiate in good faith over the transfer of the hospital. At last night’s hearing, pleas were made to the DPH Commissioner Howard Koh and Department of Mental Health Commissioner MaryLou Sudders to work within the administration to ensure Waltham Hospital is saved. Supporters are also urging the Attorney General’s office to get involved to use his influence to work with the parties to save the hospital.