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Harrington HealthCare System and UMass Memorial Health Care Approve Definitive Terms for Corporate Affiliation

SOUTHBRIDGE, MA (SEPTEMBER 23, 2020) – The Members of Harrington HealthCare System and the Board of Trustees of UMass Memorial Health Care announced today that both entities have reached agreement on definitive terms for a corporate affiliation.  Harrington HealthCare announced in January 2020 that it was pursuing a corporate affiliation by UMass Memorial.  

Harrington formed a 10-member Strategic Executive Committee during 2018 to evaluate long-term options to maintain Harrington as a financially secure, high-quality local health provider. The committee identified as its priorities quality affordable care, health of the community, financial viability, investments in infrastructure and continued employment. 

“When we entered into our initial agreement with UMass Memorial in January, we had no idea what the next several months would bring.  Our team performed exceptionally well and the community supported us every step of the way, but we could not have provided the outstanding care we did without the partnership and support of the clinical team at UMass Memorial,” said Harrington President and CEO, Ed Moore. “This experience redoubled our confidence that becoming part of the system would offer maximum benefit to our community at a time that requires flexibility, scale, and resources.”

Among the positive benefits offered by the UMass Memorial relationship are:

  • Operate Harrington Memorial Hospital (HMH) as an acute care hospital (Southbridge and Webster campuses) for a minimum of five years; this commitment encompasses inpatient and outpatient hospital-based services (medical, surgical, emergency, laboratory, imaging, cancer and behavioral health and substance use services)
  • Assistance to ensure investment in facilities, equipment and other infrastructure to support clinical care and the local community
  • Integrate Harrington into the Epic electronic medical record system within four years, improving quality and coordination of care
  • Maximize access to high quality, affordable care
  • Continue Harrington’s role as a positive employer in the local/regional market 

The agreement would allow Harrington HealthCare System and Harrington Memorial Hospital to maintain local community boards with reserved powers held by a UMass Memorial subsidiary, which will become the sole member of HHCS. Further, the HHCS Board will have representation on both the UMass Memorial parent and community hospital holding company boards.

“The terms of the definitive agreement help protect access to local, high quality and affordable healthcare for our more than 200,000 patients, their family members and our community,” Moore said. “At a time when the number of independent hospitals has decreased dramatically and healthcare has grown increasingly complex, being part of UMass Memorial’s comprehensive, regional system anchored by an outstanding academic medical center is a clear positive for our community.”

Moreover, this vote to move forward does not impact patient care services currently offered within Harrington’s system. All sites remain open and patients should continue to use Harrington campus locations and physician offices for routine appointments, emergency care and diagnostic testing, including imaging, labs, cancer care, inpatient admissions, surgical procedures and behavioral health.

Under the agreement, Harrington would become a member hospital within UMass Memorial Health Care, joining UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital, UMass Memorial Marlborough Hospital and UMass Memorial Medical Center.

“We are pleased with the terms of this definitive agreement and are absolutely ecstatic about the opportunity to formalize our longstanding, excellent relationship with Harrington HealthCare. I want to thank the board of trustees and the administrations of both organizations for their diligence and hard work to ensure we have an agreement that reaffirms the importance of Harrington HealthCare to its patients, employees and community, while integrating this important healthcare provider into the UMass Memorial system,” said Doug Brown, President of UMass Memorial Community Hospitals and Chief Administrative Officer for UMass Memorial Health Care.

With final terms in place, UMass Memorial and Harrington HealthCare will seek state regulatory approval.

“To the Harrington HealthCare communities, I am proud to welcome you to the UMass Memorial family!  Your addition immediately strengthens not only our health care system, it further enhances high-quality, patient-centered care in our region. Harrington has always been a tremendous ally and we look forward to an even stronger relationship starting today,” added Eric W. Dickson, MD, president and CEO of UMass Memorial Health Care.

About Harrington HealthCare System
Harrington HealthCare System is a comprehensive regional healthcare system serving more
than 25 communities across south central Massachusetts and northeastern Connecticut. The system includes Harrington Hospital in Southbridge, Harrington HealthCare at Webster and three additional major medical office buildings: Harrington HealthCare at Charlton, Harrington
HealthCare at 169, also in Charlton, and Harrington HealthCare at Spencer; Harrington Physician Services, our primary care and multi-specialty physician group; UrgentCare Express at Harrington in Charlton and Oxford; The Cancer Center at Harrington in Southbridge, and the region’s largest Behavioral Health programs for mental health and substance use. For more information, please visit www.harringtonhospital.org.

UMass Memorial Health Care
UMass Memorial Health Care is the largest not-for-profit health care system in Central Massachusetts with more than 14,000 employees and 1,700 physicians, many of whom are members of UMass Memorial Medical Group. Our member hospitals and entities include UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital, UMass Memorial Marlborough Hospital, UMass Memorial Medical Center and UMass Memorial Community Healthlink, our behavioral health agency. With our teaching and research partner, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, our extensive primary care network and our cancer, diabetes, heart and vascular, orthopedic and surgery programs, UMass Memorial delivers safe, high-quality and compassionate care. Visit www.umassmemorialhealthcare.org.