Northern Berkshire Healthcare Closes

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NBH Files Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Northern Berkshire Healthcare filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy Thursday morning, throwing efforts to restore emergency services in North County into uncertainty.

Judge John J. Agostini continued a temporary restraining order on North Adams Regional Hospital to restore emergency services through the auspices of Berkshire Medical Center. The restraining order is continued until a Tuesday hearing in Northampton.
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U.S. Bankruptcy Court Prioritizes Emergency Services

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge agreed on Monday that reopening emergency services in North Berkshire was a priority.

Stakeholders in the process — including court-appointed Trustee Harold B. Murphy, attorneys for the state and Berkshire Health Systems and major creditor Wells Fargo Bank — assured Boroff that they were in agreement.

There is a question, however, on where those services could be provided. Read more ...

Patrick on Reopening

Gov. Deval Patrick is fast-tracking Berkshire Medical Center's application to reopen the emergency room at North Adams Regional Hospital.

"What we are trying to do right now is to get at least the emergency department reopened, to continue the hospice and VNA services and to buy some time so there can be a thoughtful analysis of what should come," Patrick said.

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AG Coakley Wants Answers



Attorney General Investigates 'Rapid Closure'

Emergency Room Closes, Patients Diverted

Last-ditch efforts to keep at the emergency room doors open at North Adams Regional Hospital have come to naught.

The Emergency Department is closed effective immediately and patients are being diverted to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield and Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington.   

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The revised restraining order issues Friday, March 28

Farewell, But A Hope It's Not Final

But even as the last patients were escorted out with tears, the unions at Northern Berkshire Healthcare were urging the community to keep the pressure on elected officials in Boston to do what they could to save the medical services critical to the rural region.

"I'm here because the effect of losing not only over 500 jobs, but of losing a hospital, has a ripple effect that's unreal in our community," said Jeanne Mathews, pointing to the loss of backup for oral surgeons and health-care programs in the schools. "The trickle down, I don't know if people will really fathom until it happens."  Read More ...

Open Letter from
the NBH
Board of Trustees

As trustees of Northern Berkshire Healthcare, we share your deep sense of sadness on this day.

We are heartbroken that so many of our friends and neighbors are losing their jobs, and that many more members of our community are facing disruptions in their medical care. Read More ...

The Announcement on Tuesday, March 24

After more than 125 years of providing medical care to the Northern Berkshire community, the full-service hospital could not adapt itself to the changing health care environment despite a number of last-minute treatments to staunch the flow of financial losses.

Some 530 full- and part-time employees will lose their jobs, but the hospital's closure will reverberate throughout the region, affecting thousands more who have depended on its care for generations.
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An accident that killed or injured 35 workmen in the Hoosac Tunnel in 1882 emphasized the need for hospital. The building was opened in 1885, largely through donations, and some 1,500 people toured it on opening day.
Residents, union members and clergy plan a vigil for Thursday and Friday mornings. A meeting Wednesday had calls for state intervention.

Northern Berkshire Healthcare officials have been warning for years that the hospital and its affiliated groups are financially fragile. A spending spree around the beginning of the century saddled NBH with what in a few short years would be underperforming properties like the "Sweets" - Sweetwood and Sweet Brook.

In 2005, Cambio Health Solutions was brought in to put in new practices and solve a $2 million deficit.

Since then, NBH has seen its fortunes rise slightly but mostly fall, including defaulting on $40 million in bonds and declaring Chapter 11 in 2011. It also trimmed costs, consolidated and sold off properties. And laid off or eliminated nearly 300 jobs over a decade.


Hospital Closure Leaves North County Wondering
A query on Facebook of how the closure will affect residents, resulted in a flood of "shocked" and "heartbroken" posts by community members unsure of how they will get the medical care they need. Read more ...

Local Reactions Continue Over Hospital's Closing
"If you want do anything, you have to fight. If you don't get hundreds of people, it means they really don't care," Wilber said.  "If people want it to be open, they've got to be willing to fight to keep it open." Read more ...

Looking for Solutions

State Officials Scrambling
to Keep Emergency Services

State and local officials are scrambling to find a solution to the financial woes of NBH.

"My understanding is that Gov. Patrick basically told his secretaries two words: 'Fix it,'" Mayor Richard Alcombright told a meeting of local clergy on Wednesday. "Hopefully things will be able to be restored to some level."

On Beacon Hill, Sen. Benjamin B. Downing, D-Pittsfield, and Rep. Gailanne Cariddi have been brainstorming options with legislative leaders as Friday's deadline approaches for the closure of the hospital.

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North County Clergy Seek

Ways to Help Community

Mayor Richard Alcombright met with local religious leaders at First Baptist to discuss aiding the community and quelling anger toward the North Adams Regional Hospital's possible closing.

The Rev. David Anderson of added that a religious presence might provide comfort to angry citizens.

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Coakley Looking to Stop Speedy Hospital Closure

The commonwealth's governing authority confirmed on Wednesday that the timetable proposed by Northern Berkshire Healthcare is atypical, but it reported no immediate plans to block the closure.
But Attorney General Martha Coakley said she is looking at ways to keep the hospital's doors open — at least in the near term.

 The decision to close North Adams Regional Hospital after more than 125 years caused plenty of anger — not the least of which has been directed at the timing of the decision.

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BHS Stepping in to Provide Services

Working with Northern Berkshire OB/GYN and Northern Berkshire Family Medicine to relocate.

Laboratory drawing station will be set up on campus.

Working with state agencies to manage electronic medical records at North Adams Regional Hospital.

Established toll-free 24/7 "CareLine" at 855-262-5465 for patients and health-care providers on scheduling and health-care services.

Ecu-Health Care Ready to Aid NARH Employees

The health insurance counseling program will remain open this weekend to help NBH employees seeking coverage

Call 413-663-8711 to make an appointment

Appointments run 30 to 60 minutes

The program has to move out of the Doctor's Building and will be closed Thursday and Friday, April 3 and 4.

A new location has not yet been determined

Judge Orders Hospital

ER to Stay Open

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Berkshire superior court judge on Thursday afternoon ordered that North Adams Regional Hospital keep its emergency department open at least for the next week.

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Read the decision here.

Not Everything is Closed on the Hospital Campus

Williamstown Medical Associates
Northern Berkshire Pediatrics

Hillcrest Dental
Dr. Robert L. Van Uitert's office
Advanced Eye Care
Orthopedic Associates of Northern Berkshire

BMC offers help with blood drawing,
admin services for affected practices

Berkshire Medical Center has established a 24/7 "CareLine" for Northern Berkshire patients and health care providers to answer questions about scheduling and/or access to health-care services. Callers may use the toll-free number, 855-262-5465, day or night.




Tags: NARH,   NBH,   

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Williams Women's Soccer Earns Comeback Win

MANCHESTER, Vt. -- Reece Willison scored in the final minute of regulation Sunday to give the Williams College women's soccer team a 2-1 win over Babson in the title game of the Manchester Women's College Cup.
After Babson opened the scoring in the 28th minute, Williams' Tori Huang scored late in the first half to tie it.
Jaquelin Nordhoff assisted Willison on the game-winner.
Margaret Huelin and Ana Bozzi-Mackay split time in goal for Williams, combining to make four saves.
Williams (2-0-1) hosts Springfield College on Wednesday.
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