The Coalition To Save Catholic Health Care is a group of individuals and organizations determined to keep the religious identity of Catholic hospitals, and to keep these facilities in Catholic ownership. They held their initial Press Conference today at 10 A.M., Tuesday, July 27, 2010 in the Longfellow Room of the Omni Parker House, 60 School St. in Boston, Massachusetts.
The Coalition opposes any agreement between Steward Health Care System LLC, an affiliate of Cerberus Management L.P.; the 6 hospital Caritas Health Care System of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston; and Cardinal Archbishop Sean O’Malley.
“Many Catholics have expressed concern about the background of Cerberus, a venture capital company”, said R. T. Neary, the Chairman of the Coalition. “Also, concerns have been raised about the possibility of conflict of interest in Attorney General Martha Coakley's involvement in the approval of any agreement between these entities”, he added.
John O'Gorman also spoke on behalf of the coalition. He said: “We have heard conflicting stories from Caritas. At the Public Hearing on July 1, concerning the Caritas Carney Hospital, James Karam, Chairman of Caritas Christi, said he told Cardinal O’Malley that unless this deal went ahead the hospitals would close. Yet, on August 31, 2009, the Boston Globe wrote that Caritas had made a remarkable recovery and was on track to show a profit of ‘$31.1 million for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2009, compared to a $20.4 million loss last year’...an ‘anticipated swing of more than $50 million’
He continued: “On February 18, 2010, Caritas Christi issued a News Release announcing that ‘Moody's Investor Service has upgraded Caritas’ bond rating to Baa2 from Baa3...Moody’s upgrade follows Standard & Poor’s Rating Services’ upgrade of Caritas Christi in late 2009. S&P changed its outlook to positive from negative...Standard and Poor’s attributed the dramatic rating upgrade in part to Caritas Christi Health Care’s strong management team and well-defined strategic plan that should allow the system to compete effectively...’ http://www.caritaschristi.org/news/To_Be_Deleted/Good_Samaritan/Moodys_Investor_Service_Upgrades_Caritas_Christi_Health_Care_System_Bond_Rating&&PrintPage%3DPrint
R. T. Neary concluded by saying: “We need to hear the full facts, including the financial projections. The Coalition is calling on all parties to immediately terminate negotiations on the transfer of Caritas Christi to Cerberus/Steward. If it is found necessary to transfer ownership, it should only be to a Catholic group”.