Forum will offer update on L+M, Yale New Haven affiliation

New London — The third forum to update the public on the progress of the Yale New Haven Health-Lawrence + Memorial Healthcare affiliation will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Holiday Inn.

The forums are among requirements of the approval of L+M joining the larger Yale New Haven network by the state Office of Healthcare Access. The Yale New Haven-L+M agreement was approved on Sept. 8.

Among those planning to attend the forum will be Patrick L. Green, who became president and chief executive officer of L+M and executive vice president of Yale New Haven Health on June 5, after the retirement of Bruce Cummings. Green will give introductory comments and answer questions after a presentation on progress of the affiliation by Vincent Petrini, spokesman for Yale New Haven Health.

Mike O’Farrell, spokesman for L+M, said community representatives, members of the Community Hospital Council, and the interveners group, which includes a health care advocacy and union coalition, have been invited to attend the forum.

Coalition members have been questioning some of the terms of the affiliation and urging that access to services not diminish as L+M becomes further integrated into the Yale New Haven system. The general public is also invited to attend, O'Farrell said.

Dr. Stephen Smith, a physician at the Community Health Center of New London and one of the members of the coalition, said he plans to attend the forum.

“I planned to go and listen and see what they have to say,” he said. “As a safety net provider and a New London resident, I want to make sure the resources go where they are most needed.”

Catherine Zall, who was chosen in January as the community representative to L+M’s board of directors, also plans to attend the forum. The selection of a community representative fulfilled another condition of the affiliation agreement. Thus far, she said, no major problems have arisen from the affiliation.

“All the right signals are coming from Yale about their commitment to the community,” she said.

She cited recent announcements that Yale New Haven will create 40 new jobs and preserve 79 existing ones in local financial services offices, and plans to invest $50,000 to improve the health of residents in two city neighborhoods.

The forums are being run by Deloitte & Touche, which has been selected as the monitoring firm to oversee compliance with the terms of the agreement and report to state regulators. The forums will take place over the next three years.

 j.benson@theday.com

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