Nov. 12, 2009: REPS. RYAN AND WILSON, SEN. BROWN OFFER ASSISTANCE TO NEW FORUM HEALTH INTERIM CEO
Washington, DC—Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-17), was joined by Congressman Charlie Wilson (OH-6) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) in offering assistance to new Forum Health Interim Chief Executive Officer, Charles Neuman, in moving Forum out of bankruptcy and preserving its services, facilities and jobs. In a letter to Neuman, dated today, the Members outlined the urgency of pulling Forum Health out of bankruptcy, and the devastating effects that would result in the event of facilities closing.
“I congratulate Mr. Neuman on his recent position, and I look forward to offering my assistance and the resources of my office during his leadership,” said Congressman Ryan. “It is important that we work to ensure the success of Northside Medical Center, Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital, and Trumbull Memorial Hospital. A strong Forum Health system is valuable to our community, and we have an obligation to keep it operational.”
“Forum Health plays a vital role in both the delivery of health care services and the economic life of the Valley,” said Congressman Wilson. Along with the talented health care professionals, I look forward to working with Congressman Ryan, Senator Brown and Mr. Neuman during this critical period of transition from bankruptcy toward the creation a viable and valuable community hospital.”
“This is about ensuring continued access to quality medical care for families in the Mahoning Valley. And this is about protecting Ohio jobs,” Brown said. “I look forward to working with Mr. Neuman, and my colleagues in Congress, to secure continuity of services vital to the community.”
The text of the letter is attached below.
November 12, 2009
Forum Health Interim Chief Executive Officer
c/o Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital
8747 Squires Lane NE
Warren, Oh 44484
Dear Mr. Neuman:
For the last few years, there has been an ongoing dialogue between Forum Health and our community about the serious challenges facing Forum. As elected officials with a responsibility to advocate for the welfare and continuity of our region’s local health infrastructure, we are gravely concerned about this situation. As you begin your new position, we stand ready to assist you in moving Forum out of bankruptcy and preserving Northside Medical Center’s future as an essential community hospital. We are hopeful that under your leadership, these challenges will be successfully resolved in a way that preserves jobs and enables Forum to continue providing much needed services to our community.
To date, the leadership of the hospital system has had a policy of frank and open discussions about the issues that need to be addressed, as well as the financial challenges you face. It is our sincere hope that this relationship will continue in the same manner as you move through the bankruptcy proceedings.
We are particularly concerned about how the closing of any of the Forum facilities would impact health care locally, as well as the economic effect of such a closing. As the largest employer in the area, not only is Forum a crucial source of health care, it also has a significant impact on our local economy. An employer of Forum’s size not only affects its own employees directly, but its retirees, and the thousands of other workers and businesses that offer the products and services within its supply chain.
The House of Representative’s proposed health care overall holds great promise for Forum Health and other healthcare providers in the area. The bill will reduce the cost of uncompensated care by hospitals within the 17th Congressional district by $20 million and in the 6th Congressional District by $89 million, an issue of very serious concern for Forum Health. The bill will also provide insurance for 88,000 uninsured residents of our districts combined, which will further improve your bottom line. We are also working with our colleagues in the Senate and House to rewrite regulations that result in unfairly low Medicare reimbursements to our local hospitals. If we are successful, both Forum and Humility of Mary hospitals stand to reap millions of additional dollars in increased Medicare payments.
We would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to discuss the future of Forum Health, and we look forward to working with you to preserve and strengthen this critically important local resource.
Congressman Tim Ryan OH17
Congressman Charlie Wilson OH6
Senator Sherrod Brown