WOONSOCKET, R.I. (AP) – A financially troubled medical center in Woonsocket will be overseen by a special master who could consider a possible sale or merger.

Superior Court Judge Michael Silverstein approved a request Thursday from Landmark Medical Center. He also appointed attorney Jonathan Savage to assume control of the hospital’s assets and its day-to-day operations.

Officials at the 135-year-old hospital say a low endowment and a large number of poor patients needing treatment have hurt the medical center’s finances. Hospital President Richard Charest says the facility has enough cash to operate until April.

State lawmakers rejected a last-minute plea this month from Landmark officials who wanted them to waive rules and permit a raid merger with Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket.

AP-ES-06-26-08 1859EDT

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