In the Merrimack Valley: Steward To Eliminate TCU at Holy Family

Two years ago – in August 2010 I had successful hip replacement surgery – not in Boston but here in the Merrimack Valley. The surgery, post op recovery, rehab, pt – were all available at Caritas Holy Family in Methuen. After consultation with my surgeon, I chose the HFH option. Pre-op I attended an hours-long “camp” at the hospital learning about process and procedures so that I was fully prepared. Staying in the Merrimack Valley with my top notch orthopedic sugeon and access to an all-inclusive medical and rehab experience was the answer to my prayers. After an eleven day stay at Holy Family followed by in-home follow-up and out-patient physical therapy, everything went as I had hoped.  My blogger friends know that I posted from “my perch” as a patient at Holy Family and commented as even then the Steward-Caritas taken-over was in the works.

In a disclosure note, I bragged about my experience  in a September 3, 2010 post about the Steward buy-out possibility:

My disclosure: I had hip-replacement surgery here at Holy Family Hospital  followed by a stay in rehab also here at HFH. With the excellent surgeon and the terrific team approach to follow-up and rehab I’m scheduled to go home tomorrow. I didn’t have to leave the Merrimack Valley to get an excellent result and excellent care. Eleven nights! Thanks to all who encouraged me to have the surgery and to those who made it work. mps

Why the retrospective today? Well,  Eagle Tribune writer Douglas Moser tells us in a story today  that changes are coming to the TCU at Holy Family Hospital – it is being eliminated.

 Holy Family Hospital will close its inpatient transitional surgical rehabilitation unit, moving those services to other local health care organizations and eliminating about two dozen positions. 

Chris Murphy, a spokesman with Holy Family, part of the Steward Health Care System, said the decision was based on lowering the cost of providing services. He declined to provide details about staffing changes other than to confirm “there will be a reduction in staffing.” The changes will not affect Merrimack Valley Hospital in Haverhill, which also is a Steward hospital.

Officials said the unit is the last of its kind in the region to be located within a hospital and that the services will be performed by partnering…

Because of my own experience, I’m sad to see this happen. It’s part of the bottom line approach of a for-profit health care system and perhaps for the healthcare system itself. If I need my other hip replaced, an important option is off the table.

For the full story andthe broader implications of the planned closing regarding staff reductions, partnering, etc. – read the full Eagle Tribune article here: