Massena Memorial & Town At Loggerheads Over Hospital Affiliation

Massena Memorial & Town At Loggerheads Over Hospital Affiliation

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As Massena Memorial Hospital officials go full speed ahead to align with two other hospitals, town officials remain opposed to their choice. 

Threats of legal action have been exchanged as hospital and town officials are at loggerheads over the hospital's fate. 

"The board of managers of the hospital believes the recommendation it has made, the determination it has made, is the way for us to go," hospital CEO Chuck Gijanto said, "and that is the path in which we are moving."

The hospital board announced three weeks it wants to ally itself with Claxton-Hepburn and Crouse Hospital. 

Gijanto says there's just one goal: "to keep this hospital viable, full service in Massena -- and to keep the 420 or so odd jobs we've got here in this hospital.”

The town board says it was never told of the deal with the two hospitals. The town owns Massena Memorial. Gijanto is clear hospital officials desire peace, but they also want to focus on the task at hand.

"To get above the fray of the noise in the system and the community and focus on what it is we're trying to accomplish," he said.

Nobody thought this process would be easy, but no one could have perceived how bitter it would become. Lawyers for both sides are lobbing threats and both sides remain convinced that they are right.

The hospital has accused Town Supervisor Steven O'Shaughnessy of an abuse of power for trying to oust a board member. He accused them of failing to keep the town informed.

"The taxpayers of the town of Massena should have a right to be able to see what has happened," O'Shaughnessy said.

O'Shaughnessy said he's going ahead with appointing more members to the board who look at things that way, too. He appointed two more this week and has two more to go. 

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