September 7, 2012 — A stalled merger of two Connecticut hospitals has been further delayed by a state commission's rejection of a plan to address concerns about women's health services, the Hartford Courant reports.
The proposed merger between St. Mary's Hospital -- a Catholic facility -- and Waterbury Hospital -- a secular hospital -- was initially rejected by the Catholic Church because Waterbury performed tubal ligations. The procedure, which blocks the fallopian tubes to prevent pregnancy, is banned in Catholic-affiliated hospitals.
Earlier this summer, Waterbury officials proposed creating a stand-alone facility to perform tubal ligation procedures. Chad Wable, CEO of St. Mary's hospital, said the Catholic officials have endorsed such a facility.
However, the state's Permanent Commission on the Status of Women rejected the plan because the stand-alone facility would not be equipped to handle women who are considered "high-risk."
Darlene Stromstad, CEO of Waterbury, said that although the hospital understands both parties' concerns, it would be "cost prohibitive" to create a stand-alone facility that "can do everything for everybody."
Under the proposed merger, the two not-for-profit hospitals would be combined into a for-profit facility that would be 80% owned by LHP Hospital Group of Plano, Texas (Weir, Hartford Courant, 9/5).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Marya Torrez, associate editor & senior reproductive health policy counsel, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership