North Adams Hospital Union Sending Delegation to State House

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Residents and union members aren't letting up on the pressure to return full-service medical care to North County.

A delegation from 1199SEIU, which represented some 200 licensed practical nurses, technicians and others at the former North Adams Regional Hospital, will head to the State House on Thursday morning "to press the issue with key stakeholders."

1199SEIU will also start another round of advertising and outreach to promote the restoration of jobs and health care.

Northern Berkshire Healthcare closed the hospital abruptly on March 28 and declared Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy, putting more than 500 people out of work.

Berkshire Medical Center has been working with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and its appointed trustee for NBH, and other stakeholders, in restoring at least emergency services to the hospital by the end of May. It has also been operating NBH's visiting nurse association and physicians practice, and has hired around 150 of its employees.

BMC has also proferred an initial offer of $4 million for NBH's holdings; that offer will be tested when the bankruptcy auction begins later this month.  Any sale is not a guarantee of the hospital reopening with the same services it offered before. The state plans on doing a needs assessment to determine the region's medical needs.

1199SEIU and the Massahusetts Nurses Association claim the hospital was a viable concern weighed down by crushing debt from poor management decisions; the Massachusetts Hospital Association says the numbers show NARH was losing patient volume at a quick pace and that unions aren't looking at the correct figures.

Tags: 1199SEIU,   MNA,   NARH,   State House,   

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