Lifespan adds physician signatures to open letter against CNE-Partners merger

PROVIDENCE – As part of a public campaign against a proposed merger between Care New England Health System and Boston-based Partners HealthCare, 165 Lifespan Corp. physicians have signed an open letter against the deal.

The letter is being printed in newspapers across the state as a paid advertisement.

Referring to the potential acquisition of CNE by Partners as a “takeover,” the letter calls instead for a health care system in Rhode Island that combines Lifespan, Care New England and Brown University.

“We have worked tirelessly to build world-class health care right here in Rhode Island. And now, we strongly believe that the proposed takeover of Care New England by Partners HealthCare, if approved, will have devastating consequences for Rhode Island health care now and for decades to come,” the letter reads.

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It outlines a list of potential concerns, including the shift of medical resources, decision-making and physicians to Boston, higher health care and insurance costs, and job loss.

“Physicians are first and foremost scientists,” Dr. David Wazer, an oncologist and director of the Lifespan Cancer Institute, said in a statement. “We value evidence and concrete observations, and I believe I speak for my co-signers and colleagues when I say that we do not take this public stand lightly. We are equipped with the independent research and real experience to foresee the consequences of this takeover, and we are duty-bound to lend our collective voice to this conversation.”

The letter builds upon a campaign launched by Lifespan last week with the unveiling of a website,, and a round of media appearances by its president and CEO, Dr. Timothy J. Babineau.

Babineau has been increasingly vocal in his opposition to a CNE-Partners merger since state officials agreed to an expedited review of applications for the deal in December. Once the applications are complete, the R.I. Department of Health and Rhode Island’s Attorney General will issue a decision after a 90-day period that is expected to include public hearings.

Care New England has launched its own website,, to refute Lifespan’s claims.

Elizabeth Graham is a PBN staff writer. Email her at


  1. Let’s state the obvious…. No matter how they spin it, Lifespan does not want to see a CNE-Partners merger because they do not want the competition. This country is based on competition and competition is great for the consumer. Why would the State of R.I. ever want to see a Lifespan-CNE merger that would practically be a monopoly in the State? Remember… Competition good… Monopoly bad.

    And along those same lines, why didn’t Lifespan raise the red flag (anti-merger websites, media blitz) when Prospect Medical Holdings (based in California (talk about out of State)) came in and purchased hospitals based in RI (Roger Williams, Fatima, St Joe’s)? Or when Prime Healthcare (also based in California) purchased Landmark in Woonsocket? As well as when Yale New-Haven, CT purchased Westerly hospital and had talks with South County Hospital?

    I’d suggest Lifespan spend their resources away from marketing and instead on patient care. Stop trying to pretend to be chicken little with the sky falling. Don’t worry, Rhode Island will be in a better place with the CNE-Partners merger. 😊