University President Christina Paxson is optimistic that a partnership with Partners HealthCare and Care New England can address previous concerns.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — In January, Brown University President Christina Paxson outlined the University’s concerns about the possible impact of the consolidation of health systems in Rhode Island and Massachusetts on access and quality of care for the residents of Rhode Island.

Brown’s senior leadership shared today that over the past several months, Brown has engaged in productive conversations with Partners HealthCare and Care New England (CNE) that aim to address the concerns that Paxson raised previously. Partners and Care New England announced today, May 23, that they have reached the important milestone of signing a definitive agreement to merge. This follows an announcement on Jan. 25 of the intention of Partners to pursue the agreement with CNE, which is the state’s second-largest health system.

“Preserving and strengthening healthcare and biomedical research and innovation in Rhode Island continues to be an important priority,” Paxson said. “As Brown’s discussions with Partners and Care New England continue, I am optimistic that we can address the various concerns that I raised earlier this year.”

One important consideration for Brown and its Warren Alpert Medical School has been the integral role of an academic medical center for maintaining the strength of healthcare and economic development in the state and the region, Paxson said. This has been a focus of the ongoing talks.

Achieving a healthcare solution involving Brown, Care New England and Partners that promises to demonstrate strong benefits for Rhode Island would take the place of the alternative to the Partners acquisition that Brown had proposed with Prospect Medical/CharterCARE, Paxson confirmed.

“Brown has a long and productive partnership with Care New England, and the continued success of Care New England is important to the University and to the people of Rhode Island,” Paxson said. “Brown will continue to support collaboration among organizations dedicated to serving the health needs of Rhode Islanders and economic development in the state.”