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WASHINGTON DC – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Assistant Speaker of the House Katherine Clark (MA-05), wrote to Dr. Saum Sutaria, the CEO of Tenet Healthcare, expressing their concerns over the anticipated closure of the outpatient medical oncology and radiation oncology departments at MetroWest Medical Center (MWMC).

The lawmakers called for Dr. Sutaria to reconsider the unit closures at MWMC, which will place an undue burden on medically and financially vulnerable families in the MetroWest area. In their letter, the lawmakers underline that ongoing closures and staff departures at MWMC could reduce the effectiveness of community care.

“The loss of local oncology care in MetroWest represents an added burden to patients and families already facing the fear and stress of a cancer diagnosis,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter. “Tenet’s decision to terminate these services will exacerbate health inequities for the most vulnerable patients.”

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The letter continued, “The proposed closure of the outpatient medical oncology and radiation oncology departments at MWMC, the string of recent decisions affecting MWMC, and the extraordinary compensation that you and other top Tenet executives have earned raise serious questions about Tenet’s commitment to MetroWest residents and its prioritization of resources.”

The lawmakers requested a reply from Dr. Sutaria by July 8th, including an explanation of the recent department and unit closures and the number of patients impacted by closures, among other concerns. 

A copy of the letter can be found HERE.

Massachusetts has set a public hearing on the proposed closure for Wednesday, July 6 at 6 p.m. in Nevins Hall at the Memorial Building at 150 Concord Street in Framingham.

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SOURCE was the first news outlet to publish Tenet Healthcare’s intention to close the cancer center in Framingham.

Since then both the medical board and the hospital’s advisory board have voted to not close the cancer center.

Since the announcement, the CEO resigned and the hospital’s Chief Nursing Officer left too.

A new CEO was announced this week. He starts July 18.

The Mayor of the City of Framingham, Senate President Karen Spilka, and Rep. Danielle Gregoire have all been outspoken that the Center is needed in Framingham and MetroWest.

“I am hopeful that this hearing will result in a reversal of the decision by the hospital and the parent company, Tenet, to close the oncology department, or alternatively to find another way to continue to provide this critically needed service to our community here in Framingham,” said Mayor Sisitsky to SOURCE last month.

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By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.