Haverhill City Council Seeks Answers on Future of Holy Family Hospital in the City

Holy Family Hospital, Haverhill campus. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Click image for Haverhill City Council agenda.

Haverhill city councilors tonight are expected to weigh in on the future of a hospital in Haverhill as financial pressures mount for the chain that operates Holy Family Hospital’s Haverhill campus.

Councilors Melissa J. Lewandowski and John A. Michitson placed the matter on the regular City Council agenda.

As late as Monday, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren said she organized a briefing for the congressional delegation, saying she is “deeply concerned by Steward Health Care’s grave financial situation and appalled by allegations of patient neglect at Steward facilities.”

“Steward’s explanations for its failings do not add up. It’s clear that Steward executives put profits over patients and went to great lengths to hide critical information about its financial status from state officials, jeopardizing quality health care for the people of Massachusetts. My primary concern is the thousands of patients who face threats to care and the front-line health care workers whose jobs are at risk,” Warren said in a statement.

She said she will “continue investigating the decisions that led to this potential public health crisis.”

As early as the fall of 2016, WHAV reported the $1.25 billion sale and leaseback of Steward Health Care’s hospital properties. As the story reported, the deal also paid back an “initial investment” in Steward nearly six years before by Cerberus Capital Management and allows Steward to “scale nationally.” Payment of that rent is now one of the biggest threats against the chain. The landlord, Birmingham, Alabama-based Medical Properties Trust said this month Steward’s “total unpaid rent…is approximately $50 million” as of the end of December.

WHAV was also the first to report Craig A. Jesiolowski is stepping as president of Holy Family Hospital to become president of two hospitals in Illinois. WHAV also detailed last April that Steward won a temporary restraining order to keep a dialysis services vendor from ending services due to nonpayment and, last month, that Steward Health Care would close its New England Sinai Acute Long-Term Care and Rehabilitation Hospital.

As late as July of 2022, state regulators told WHAV they knew of no specific oversight of hospitals following several megamergers.

The Haverhill City Council meets at 7 p.m., in-person at the Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. Council Chambers, room 202, Haverhill City Hall, 4 Summer St., As a public service, 97.9 WHAV plans to carry the meeting live.

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