EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

September 28, 2012

Letter: LGH is changing but layoffs are not part of the plan

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — To the editor:

Regarding your story, “Union, LGH spar over jobs and programs” (Sept. 25), we feel it important to set the record straight.

We have worked very hard to be creative and thoughtful with our recent redesign of patient care services so that it resulted in no layoffs. This redesign will allow us to advance and elevate our clinical practice using evidence-based practices, facilitate a more seamless approach through all aspects of care and better meet the expanding and changing needs of our patients and community.

In this time of rapid change in the health care field, we are proud that Lawrence General Hospital continues to remain ahead of the curve by working to improve quality and patient satisfaction, reduce health care costs and expand the breadth of services offered locally.

With those goals in mind, our not-for-profit institution has in just three years:

— Clinically affiliated with both Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center.

— Opened a series of local specialty clinics.

— Fully renovated our Pediatric Center and opened a Cardiac Cath Lab.

— Added new centers, including Cardiac Rehab, Outpatient Physical Therapy and Sleep, and much more.

Long gone are the days for any hospital of sitting back and delivering routine care as has been done for decades. Health care institutions operating in such a dated mode may soon be the facilities with declining revenues and dwindling patient care services. We must be nimble enough to analyze, plan and execute positive and rapid changes in this challenging and fluid environment. Care must be more patient-centered than ever before, and based on established and evidence-based clinical practices. New clinical additions and redesigns at Lawrence General are based upon these well-documented practices, and many of the new centers and services previously mentioned came about through this process.

Change is hard, and we acknowledge this fact. But change for the benefit of our patients is what Lawrence General Hospital is about, and I hope the past three years gives you confidence that we are listening to and responding to the needs of the Merrimack Valley region. To reach our ultimate goals, we will need all our partners on board with us — from union and nonunion employees to physicians and medical staff, from volunteers and civic leaders to our many health care partners across the region.

LGH’s ability to provide high quality, effective patient care is directly linked to our committed, talented and caring nursing staff. Our appreciation for the work our nurses do each day is reflected in a longstanding, successful partnership with the LGH nursing staff, and we remain committed to that collaboration.

To learn more about our most recent improvements, please see the news story on our home page at www.lawrencegeneral.org.

Dianne J. Anderson

President & CEO

Lawrence General Hospital