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Miceli To Governor: You'll Cut Tewksbury Hospital Funding Over My Dead Body!

Mar 11, 2015 12:34PM ● By Bill Gilman
State Reps. Jim Miceli, D-Wilmington, and Jim Lyons, R-Andover, are standing shoulder to shoulder, vowing to fight a line item in Gov. Charlie Baker's FY 2016 Budget Proposal that slash funding to Tewksbury Hospital.
Baker's proposed budget calls for a $3.8 million cut to funding for Tewksbury Hospital, which would include the loss of 48 jobs and 12 beds.
During a budget hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee, Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore said the job cuts would be achieved through layoffs and attrition, according to a report published by the State House News Service.
According to the report, 
Health and Human Services spokeswoman Rhonda Mann said 28 patients would be impacted by the cuts, as two units at the hospital were consolidated. Of the 28, 16 would be moved to other units in the hospital while 12 would either be discharged or relocated to other hospitals around the state.
Tewksbury Hospital provides two primary services. Seven in-patient units provide care to more than 200 chronic care patients with such conditions as Huntington's Disease, Alzheimer's and severe brain injury. Another five units at the hospital provide in-patient care to approximately 150 psychiatric patients.
It is not immediately known which units of the hospital would have jobs reduced and which patients would be impacted by the proposed budget cuts.
Miceli, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, asked Lepore point-blank how these cuts could possibly be achieved without patient care being impacted, according to the State House News Service report. Lepore said those questions were better answered by 
Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders, who is scheduled to testify in an upcoming budget hearing.
Interviewed after the hearing by State House News Service, Miceli, a passionate supporter of Tewksbury Hospital, vowed to fight the budget cuts and said they would take place "over my dead body."
State Rep. Jim Lyons appeared before the Tewksbury Board of Selectmen Tuesday night to discuss a variety of issues. Following his appearance, he was asked about the proposed budget cuts for Tewksbury Hospital and Miceli's comments.
"I think Rep. Miceli is right on," said Lyons. "I think that (Tewksbury Hospital) has to be properly funded and I support making sure that this funding is restored."

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