FALL RIVER (WBSM) — Southcoast Health has a “strong interest” in acquiring St. Anne’s Hospital in Fall River as the hospital’s owner, Steward Health Care, continues on with its plan to sell off its Massachusetts hospitals.

In an email sent to Southcoast Health patients, President and CEO David O. McCready – who stepped into that role on January 3 of this year – stated that Steward’s decision to sell off its nine Massachusetts hospitals has the “potential to be truly devastating for these hospitals’ patients and employees if there is an interruption of service.”

One of those hospitals, which could have an interruption of service or could even close, would be St. Anne’s Hospital.

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Even though Southcoast Health already operates Charlton Hospital in Fall River, McCready said the interest in acquiring the city’s other hospital is to keep it locally operated.

“St. Anne’s patients and employees are part of our community; they are our family members, friends and neighbors,” McCready wrote. “This is why we are taking action to step up and care for our community as we always have, and why we are announcing our strong interest in having St. Anne’s Hospital join the Southcoast Health family.”

McCready pointed to Southcoast Health being the “region’s only not-for-profit health system” and the fact that it is locally-run as why it is a better option than national or Boston or Providence-based systems to become the new operators of St. Anne’s.

“As we engage with Steward, our message to them is clear: the best option for St. Anne’s Hospital, its patients, its employees, and our community, is for St. Anne’s to join the Southcoast Health family,” he wrote.

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McCready said the next step is “to conduct thorough due diligence to determine whether an acquisition to any degree would be viable.”

Steward Health Care’s financial woes have led to multiple lawsuits from vendors and other issues that have led to the possibility of the system selling off its hospitals.

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