CAH, SMC Agreement 'Not A Takeover,' Hospital Officials Say

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Officials at Samaritan Medical Center and Carthage Area Hospital want people to know that the agreement between the two hospitals announced Wednesday does not mean the Watertown hospital is taking over.

"We saw this as really a way to help," Samaritan spokesperson Krista Kittle said, "a way to help Carthage stabilize their finances, a way to make sure that services remain in that community, that jobs are retained in that community and that people in that community have a hospital to turn to when they need it."

Kittle and her Carthage hospital counterpart, Natalie Burnham, were on 7 News This Morning to explain the agreement and what it means for Carthage. Click on the picture for the full interview.

"Everything remains the same," Burnham said. "We are moving forward.

"The services that we had yesterday, we still have today," she said. "We'll continue as this process evolves to look at services and new partnerships and new ways to enhance what we already do."

"Carthage is an independent hospital," Kittle said. "It will remain that way through this."

Kittle said a new corporation will be formed to oversee the entire system, "not just Carthage, not just Samaritan, but the entire system."

Each hospital, she said, will have its own board to oversee and govern "the day-to-day operations of that independent facility."

"We really see it as a partnership to stabilize services to make sure that the hospital remains there for a very long time," Kittle said.

"It is a very good thing, absolutely," Burnham said. "That is how we see this. It's exciting, it's an opportunity, it's great."

Thursday, October 30, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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