MMH Presents Plan to Ensure Long-Term Viability of the Hospital

Hospital seeks to transition from town-owned, municipal hospital to nonprofit; plan was approved unanimously by the Hospital’s Board of Managers
Massena Memorial Hospital today announced a plan to seek approval from the Town Board to transition to a nonprofit hospital. This plan would ensure the long-term viability of the healthcare provider that is also one of the region’s largest employers. Currently, Massena Memorial Hospital is a municipal hospital, which presents many operational and logistical challenges.
“Massena Memorial is the only town-owned municipal hospital in New York State and is unable to do the things a hospital has to do to remain competitive and viable as the future of healthcare changes,” said Robert G. Wolleben, CEO of Massena Memorial Hospital. “Nonprofit status will allow the hospital more flexibility to respond to changes in the healthcare delivery system brought on by local conditions, and state and federal policy.”
The plan to transition from a town-owned, municipal hospital was approved unanimously by the Hospital’s Board of Managers, as it was recognized as the best way for Massena Memorial Hospital to remain viable in the long term.
“Nonprofit status is the pathway to continued success for Massena Memorial Hospital,” said Tina Buckley, Chair of the Hospital’s Board of Managers. “The municipal model is outdated and does not ensure the long-term sustainability of the hospital. This conversion is vital to the health and wellbeing of the Massena community.” 
Municipal hospitals have limitations that prevent them from functioning like other hospitals. With nonprofit status, Massena Memorial Hospital will have access to the necessary capital required to purchase state-of-the-art equipment, upgrade facilities, update outdated rooms, machines and tools and increase research that will allow them to compete with neighboring hospitals. Additionally, the change will allow the hospital to continue to recruit the best doctors and physicians.
The hospital employs 398 people and is the second largest employer in Massena. A large employee base also means a large impact on the local economy. In fact, the hospital has a $91 million impact on the local economy in the region.
The new 501c3 corporation would be committed to maintaining strong management labor relationships and intends to continue existing labor representation with contract negotiation. 
“We need to be forward-thinking,” added Wolleben. “Looking to the future, conversion to a nonprofit entity is the best option for our hospital and the residents of Massena. As a nonprofit, we can meet the healthcare needs of the community, provide good jobs to our employees and continue to thrive.”
Additionally, we have set up a website that allows the community to voice their opinions and give feedback to the administrative staff and hospital board of managers. That website is


February 2017

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