“The Column” in today’s SUN tells us that the people in charge at Steward Healthcare Systems expressed their displeasure at recent negative comments made by James M. Shannon about the pending sale of Saints Medical Center. Shannon – a Lawrence native – served as Attorney General for the Commonwealth and a few terms as a Member of Congress representing the 5th Congressional District. He has been outspoken and quite critical about the “for-profit” Steward take-over of the Caritas system – which includes Holy Family Hospital in Methuen – and their commitment to local community healthcare. Shannon’s comments about the Saints deal were taken as a conflict of interest by Steward since they claim that he serves as a Trustee for cross-town healthcare provider and competitor Lowell General Hospital. Problem is – that is James C. Shannon, III – a CPA with a local practice and member of a very different prominent Shannon family. Steward needs to get someone with Lowell savy to vet their public pronouncements. And now for the rest of the story… many times during Jim Shannon’s tenure in Congress another Jim Shannon – James C. Shannon, II – was often confused with the Congressman. One of the most memorable as the father tells it was when the White House called looking for Jim Shannon and they just didn’t want to buy the answer that with all due respect – “they had the wrong Jim Shannon”! Jim, II laughs when he tells the story. Jim, III will probably laugh too. Like father like son. By the way, all three Jim Shannons are great guys well known and noted for their service to the community.
Disclosure – I worked as aide to Congressman Shannon for six years in his Lowell District office and Bill and I sit behind Jim Shannon, II and his wife Peggy (Sullivan) most Saturdays at the 4 o’clock Mass at the Immaculate. Oh, and I know Jim Shannon, III through his volunteer work locally – especially with the Greater Lowell Community Foundation.