Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin announced Wednesday that he has approved the sale of The Westerly Hospital to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, setting the stage for a closing by June 1.
"All parties recognize the critically important role Westerly Hospital plays in providing quality health care to the residents of the area and as an important economic engine for the region," Kilmartin said in a statement.
Kilmartin's announcement came the same week the sale was approved by the Rhode Island Department of Health and was the last step in the regulatory process. In his decision, Kilmartin set 18 conditions on L+M's ownership of Westerly Hospital, among them that its name and identity be retained and that L+M undertake a capital campaign to raise money that would be used solely for projects at the smaller hospital. L+M, based in New London, has about 280 beds, while Westerly Hospital has 125.
L+M spokesman Mike O'Farrell said the focus now will be on working with Attorney Mark Russo, the special master in charge of Westerly Hospital since it was placed in receivership in December 2011, toward the closing.
"We are one step closer to being able to provide long-term stability to The Westerly Hospital and the community, " he said. "This is good news for L+M, but this is very good news for the employees, physicians and great Westerly community."