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September 27, 2023

UMass Memorial Health exploring merger with Milford Regional hospital

Photo | Courtesy of Milford Regional Medical Center The da Vinci robotic system will help Milford Regional Medical Center perform general and urology surgeries, as well as weight loss and thoracic surgeries.

UMass Memorial Health, the largest healthcare provider in Central Massachusetts, has signed a non-binding letter of intent to explore a potential affiliation with one of the region’s few remaining independent hospitals, Milford Regional Medical Center and its Milford Regional Physician Group 

Milford Regional is facing difficulties surviving as an independent community hospital in the current healthcare landscape following the COVID-19 pandemic. Sustained financial losses have inhibited its ability to act on necessary growth and expansion, according to a joint press release from the two organizations on Wednesday.

A man in a suit and tie smiles at the camera.
Milford Regional Medical Center President and CEO Edward Kelly

“Building on the foundation of our outstanding team, high quality care, mature physician network and our supportive community, a future corporate affiliation with UMass Memorial Health would make it possible for us to move forward with necessary and strategic expansion, among other mutually beneficial opportunities, to continue to meet the growing needs of our community, locally,” Milford Regional President and CEO Edward Kelly said in the press release.

Milford Regional is the sixth-largest hospital in Central Massachusetts with 148 beds and 2,411 employees, according to the WBJ Research Department. The hospital reported revenues of $255 million in 2022. Milfird Regional Physician Group is the fifth-largest physician group locally with 130 physicians.

Milford Regional Medical Center became the first hospital to be clinically affiliated with UMass Memorial Medical Center in 1991. Since then, many additional clinical and educational programs have been created with UMass Memorial Health, according to the press release.

A portrait photo of Eric Dickson
Photo | Matt Wright
Dr. Eric Dickson, president & CEO of UMass Memorial Health, in Worcester

The exploration does not necessarily mean the deal will be completed. In May 2022, UMass Memorial Health announced that it was entering non-binding discussions of a merger with Heywood Healthcare of Gardner. In January, those systems called off the potential merger with UMass Memorial Health President and CEO Dr. Eric Dickson citing the difficult healthcare environment as a reason for the cancellation.

UMass Memorial Health is the largest employer in Central Mass. with 15,500 employees and 2,100 physicians. It operates locations in Worcester, Marlborough, Leominster, Clinton, and Southbridge. The system just closed on Saturday the maternity ward at HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital in Leominster, over the loud objections of local and state officials.

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We don’t need UMass Memorial messing with Milford Regional!

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