"Saving Union Hospital"

Lynn is ready for a renaissance. The largest and most diverse city in Essex County, Lynn has all of the potential to become the crown jewel of the Gateway Cities. With easy access to Boston and the largest undeveloped waterfront in New England, all the city needs is the vision and drive to make this renaissance a reality.

But if Partners gets its way, Lynn will be missing one critical part of every leading city: A full-service hospital.

Thanks to Partners’ efforts to shut down most services at Union Hospital, Lynn is in danger of becoming the largest city in America without a full-service hospital. The people of Lynn —the working families, senior citizens and young people who breathe life into the city each and every day — have a right to quality, affordable health care services. It is unconscionable to tell the 90,000 residents of Lynn that they don’t deserve a hospital in their city. As our district’s Democratic nominee for Congress and as the founder of Save Union Hospital, we are committed to not letting that happen.

The effects of scaling down Lynn’s only acute hospital will be felt for generations. Health care access and jobs will leave the city, the lack of services will deter future residents from moving their jobs and families to Lynn, and the city’s long-term competitiveness will be impaired. While Lynn is ripe for a renaissance, allowing one of the city’s largest employers and providers to abandon us at this time would severely hamper not only Lynn’s potential, but also our quality of life today.

By all accounts, the staff at Union Hospital has been providing Lynn with outstanding care for years. Relocating primary care providers will separate doctors from patients and add an undue burden to those most in need of care by diverting them outside of their city to Salem. Supporters of a scaled-down Union Hospital have argued that this five-mile drive is only a moderate inconvenience, but this is simply not the case. Any one of us who has tried to drive from Lynn to Salem during rush hour knows how long this trip can really take. For those without a car, the bus can easily take up to an hour each way. This is an entirely unacceptable option for anyone, especially those who are already struggling to balance multiple jobs and raise a family.

 

Read my full piece in The Daily Item here.