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Throughout the state of New Hampshire there are 26 hospitals offering comprehensive services and quality care to its patients, many of which have achieved national recognition for their quality of care. From the northern tip to southern New Hampshire, these hospitals continually work to develop and utilize new technologies to increase and improve health care options.The Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon has made it to the list of “America’s Best Hospitals” for its specialized excellence in research, diagnosis, treatment and education. Throughout the state there are Dartmouth-Hitchcock branches in locations including Concord, Keene, Manchester, Bedford and Nashua.Located in the Queen city is the Elliot Hospital and the Catholic Medical Center, both which offer urgent care facilities. Also in Manchester is the Manchester VA Medical Center offering various services to veterans including urgent care, primary care and long-term care.The Speare Memorial Hospital located between the Lakes Region and the White Mountain National Forest in Plymouth offers a wide variety of health services. With recent expansion, Speare has made additions to better meet the needs of its patients living or traveling in the northern part of the state.The Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester has been providing high quality care for over 80 years while keeping up with latest technologies to meet the ever changing health care needs. They have specifically received recognition for the Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate located within Frisbie Memorial and offering high quality education to patients with diabetes.Despite the great need for high-quality care, Frisbie Memorial Hospital, among others, has faced the crunch in the recession where hours were cut for more than 100 employees and over 20 workers lost their jobs, back in 2009’s recession.The St. Joseph Hospital in Nashua is a full-service healthcare system working to meet its patients’ needs through innovation, technology and great quality care. Their main campus is leading the way in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. They also have a rehabilitation center and childbirth center.The Concord Hospital, located in southern New Hampshire has received great recognition for their specialty in orthopedics, and also provides support in urologic care, women’s care, cancer care and cardiac care. According to a press release by the Concord Hospital, they are one of the only large hospitals in the state that have not experienced layoffs due to the recession.According to Business Week, top executives from New Hampshire’s 23 non-profit hospitals have received substantial pay increases, from 2006 to 2009, which makes their salaries similar to hospital executives in other states, but varies considerably among the hospitals in New Hampshire.The Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover is the seacoast’s leading medical center, featuring a spine center, joint-replacement center, acute care, disease management, wellness programs, trauma center and strong educational program.New Hampshire hospitals pride themselves in their quality of care, expansion and ability to discover and utilize new and improved technologies, and revolutionary ways of treating and diagnosing their patients.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock's Layoff Announcement Stirs Mistrust With State Officials

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Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is responding to a firestorm of criticism over its announcement to lay off between 270 and 460 employees by the end of this year.

The hospital broke the news just two days after accepting a $35.5 million contract from the state. Some say Dartmouth-Hitchcock should have disclosed the layoffs before accepting the contract. 

On Wednesday, the Executive Council okayed a controversial contract for Dartmouth-Hitchcock to run clinical care at New Hampshire Hospital.

And two days later, Dartmouth-Hitchcock confirmed hundreds of upcoming layoffs.  Executive Councilor Joe Kenney points out companies only break news like this late on a Fridays for a reason.

"They try to drown out the news cycle," says Kenney.

Department of Health and Human Services  Commissioner Jeff Meyers says the news came as a complete surprise to him and Governor Hassan.

"Look, the timing of the announcement obviously is very concerning, and how they’ve gone about announcing these layoffs is obviously very concerning," says Meyers. "And as the governor and I have both said we’re very disappointed."

Political candidates expressed a little more than disappointment in Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

Executive Councilor and Republic candidate for Governor Chris Sununu voted for the contract last week, but he says he didn’t have the full picture.

"When the State of New Hampshire does business with an organization, we need to know that they’re trustworthy, they’re transparent, they’re being upfront with us about all the different things that could potentially impact this contract, or their business in other ways," says Sununu.  

Sununu’s Republican opponents in the primary for governor seized the moment to criticize Sununu for voting for the contract.

Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas called for the state to pull out of the contract with Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

State senator Jeannie Forrester  said executive councilor and democratic candidate for governor Colin Van Ostern didn’t do his homework before voting for the contract.

On the campaign trail Monday,  Van Ostern tried to turn the focus away from politics.

"I think what’s most important here is not politics, it’s patient care," said Van Ostern.

Still, Van Ostern didn’t respond to direct questions about whether the Executive Council was asleep at the wheel, or if Dartmouth-Hitchcock had lost credibility.

On Monday, Dartmouth-Hitchcock CEO Dr. James Weinstein said system-wide layoffs had no connection to clinical care at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. He said his hospital will fulfill the contract.

Chris Sununu says he wants the state to reopen the call for bids.

"I don’t care whether you’re a snow plow company or a health services provider, when doing business with the state, this is public dollars, there’s public transparency that needs to be adhered to," says Sununu.

For now, others on the Executive Council like Chris Pappas aren’t willing to pull out of the contract with Dartmouth-Hitchcock just yet.

"What we need to see is a commitment that Dartmouth is going to maintain the staffing levels in the contract that we just approved," says Pappas.

Meaning, wait and see if Dartmouth-Hitchcock can lay off hundreds of employees without affecting care at the state psychiatric hospital.

Either way, Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s poorly timed announcement will ensure questions remain about the hospital’s ability to fulfill its obligations.  

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