By John Murray
Dozens of city residents packed aldermanic chambers last night to protest the unfolding hospital merger betwen Saint Mary’s Hospital, Waterbury Hospital, and the LHP Group of Plano, Texas. While some residents spoke against the merger itself, the biggest issue was the lack of dialogue between LHP and the citizens of Waterbury. To drive the point home, more than 50 people used empty milk cartons with the picture of LHP CEO Dan Moen on it to illustrate the “missing dialogue” with the community.
Community United, a coalition of a dozen organizations, has submitted a resolution designed to have the Aldermen bring the two sides together on a wide range of issues affecting residents.
“We want real discussions with LHP’s CEO Dan Moen, not the ‘fly-by’ visits he’s been doing,” said Brenda Morisette, co-chair of Community United. “LHP has not shown up at one public event so far, not even the Aldermen’s presentation we were promised. If they have nothing to hide, LHP must meet with Community United and talk to the local people whose futures will be seriously affected by the Joint Venture.”
Community United has packed Aldermanic meetings over the past months, canvassed homes on 287 city streets and gained over 1,000 pledges to support their demands around good jobs and health care.
The aldermen did not act last night on the resolution and will have direct communication with LHP in the coming month.
Waterbury resident Kimberly Wigglesworth is against the merger because it will diminish women’s rights to seek abortions, tubal ligations and the morning after rape pill.