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R.I. hospital, Caritas can talk merger

By Robert Weisman
September 25, 2009

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A Rhode Island judge yesterday allowed Landmark Medical Center, a 214-bed community hospital in Woonsocket, R.I., that has been in court receivership since last year, to enter into exclusive merger negotiations with Caritas Christi Health Care of Boston.

Superior Court Judge Michael Silverman approved a request from Landmark’s special master, Jonathan N. Savage, to let the merger discussions go forward. The request also was agreed to by Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch and the Rhode Island Department of Health.

The board of Caritas Christi, a chain of six Catholic hospitals including St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton and Caritas Carney Hospital in Dorchester, authorized management last spring to pursue negotiations with Landmark. A deal would require Landmark, which serves communities in Northern Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts, to become a Catholic hospital.