The Metro Louisville Women’s Political Caucus is holding a forum tonight on the proposed merger between University of Louisville Hospital, Jewish Hospital and St. Mary’s Healthcare and a division of Catholic Health Initiatives. Representatives from all of the merging entities have declined to attend.
Ryan Alessi of CN2’s Pure Politics will moderate the forum, which is advertised as a discussion of the pros and cons of the merger. Critics of the consolidation say it will hurt reproductive and end of life care, since University Hospital staff will have to follow Catholic care directives inside of the facility. Principals from the hospitals say the merger is a financial necessity. Further, they say no care will be lost. The U of L School of Medicine is not merging and can provide the same level of care, and tubal ligations will be moved to Baptist Hospital East.
The panel will feature:
- Attorney Beverly Glascock
- Mayor Greg Fischer’s Chief of Staff Ellen Hesen
- Derek Selznick of the ACLU of Kentucky
- State Senator Kathy Stein
Merger critic and public relations professional Honi Goldman organized the forum. She says principals from the hospitals were invited to be on the panel, but declined. In a letter, U of L President James Ramsey says the partners will be criticized whether or not they participate in the event, and all questions from the public should first go through the mayor’s office, which has agreed to act as the middleman between the principals and citizens.
The merger still requires approval from the state.