State Asks Dartmouth-Hitchcock If Layoffs Will Impact N.H. Hospital

Oct 19, 2016

Credit Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

The state's top health official wants to know if layoffs at Dartmouth-Hitchcock will affect care at the state psychiatric hospital.

In a letter to Dartmouth-Hitchcock CEO Dr. James Weinstein, Health Commissioner Jeff Meyers asks if psychiatric staff will be among the 84 layoffs from across the healthcare system. The letter comes as Dartmouth-Hitchcock's relationship with the state is under a lot of scrutiny. 

In September, Dartmouth-Hitchcock won a $36.5 million state contract to oversee care at New Hampshire Hospital, where the state's most severely mentally ill patients get help. A few days later, Dartmouth-Hitchcock announced it would layoff employees. 

Republic gubernatorial candidate Chris Sununu has repeatedly asked for the contract to be re-bid, something Governor Maggie Hassan, the health commissioner and other Democrats have rejected. Republicans have also pointed to recently released email exchanges, saying those emails raise questions about whether state officials colluded with Dartmouth-Hitchcock while drafting the contract.

Governor Hassan has called these criticisms "baseless political attacks."