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.   

Read more ....

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.

Read more ...

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.

Read more ....

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.

Read More ...

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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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: July 12-18

Next Thursday, July 18 is 3rd Thursday: Food & Drink!
July's 3rd Thursday celebrates the city's cuisine, with more than a dozen food vendors popping up at the celebration, along with the two dozen brick-and-mortar restaurants that dot North Street. There will be almost 100 vendors in all! 
3rd Thursday's presenting sponsor, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, will be offering FREE snow cones at Palace Park. The Boy Scouts of America will be bringing its rock climbing wall, and Berkshire Yoga Dance & Fitness will offer FREE Zumba in Park Square. 
Entertainment will be provided by Berkshire Bateria, Jacob's Pillow and Music in Common, plus enjoy a sneak peak at Barrington Stage and Ragtag Theatre's  Hansel and Gretel and Berkshire Theatre Group's Shrek The Musical. 5-8 p.m.
The Let's Go Pink Art Exhibition is a cancer awareness exhibit that will be on view at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield throughout October, 2019. The opening reception will be Friday, Oct. 4 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. as part of that month's First Friday Artswalk. A portion of all sales will benefit two local organizations: 20% of sales to BTG PLAYS!, 15% of sales to BMC Integrative Health Program's intuitive painting class for cancer patients, and the other 65% to the artist. Submissions will be accepted until Friday, Sept. 6. All artists will be notified of acceptance on or before Sept. 9. For more information, please email the Let's Go Pink 2019 team at
100 Years of Nat King ColeCelebrate the centennial birthday of the unforgettable Nat King Cole with timeless songs and intimate stories told and sung by two-time Grammy nominee Clint Holmes, accompanied by award-winning pianist and vibraphonist Christian Tamburr. Mr. Finn's Cabaret at Barrington Stage Company. 
FRI Blue Light Trio at Rainbow | FRI Hunks: The Show at The A | FRI Lita Williams at Hotel on North | FRI Karaoke Night at Friends | FRI Jessica Wilson at Rusty Anchor | SAT Food for Thought Dinner w/Simon Winchester at Hancock Shaker Village | SAT Rock 'n' Roll Dance Party at Polish Falcons | SAT Jason & Trev at J. Allen's | SAT Dan Gingras at Rusty Anchor | MON Berkshire Athenaeum Book Club at Hotel on North | MON Jazz Night at Mission | TUE Green Drinks at J. Allen's | WED Live on the Lake: Shyne at Onota Lake | WED Gruppo Mondo at Rainbow | THU Lady Di & The Dukes at Mazzeo's | THU Fabrizio & The Fever at Rainbow | THU The Picky B's at Mission

Explore the science of YOU during this annual celebration of science, invention and sensory fun! Explore the brain, transform into a germ, follow the life of a sneeze and more. Don't miss the grand finale at 7:15 p.m. Berkshire Museum. FREE, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
FRI WeeMuse: Adventures at Berkshire Museum FRI Yoga for Kids at Berkshire Athenaeum FRI-THU Parenting Classes & Play Groups at Berkshire Children & Families | SAT Pop-up Play Day at Berkshire Museum | SAT Chow Time at Berkshire Museum SAT Designing with da Vinci at Berkshire Museum SAT Sensory-friendly Screening: Incredibles 2 at Berkshire Museum SAT da Vinci After Hours at Berkshire Museum SUN Discovery Tank Program at Berkshire Museum | MON Exploring Our World at Berkshire Museum MON Kindergarten Countdown at Berkshire Athenaeum MON Star Lab at Berkshire Athenaeum MON Stardust Cafe at Berkshire Athenaeum MON+ Learn to Code at Miss Hall's School TUE WeeMuse: Littlest Learners at Berkshire Museum TUE Designing with da Vinci at Berkshire Museum TUE Circus Minimus at Berkshire Athenaeum TUE Project SpaceCRAFT at Berkshire Athenaeum TUE Screening of Wall-E at Berkshire Athenaeum WED Little Gardeners of the Galaxy at Berkshire Athenaeum WED Solar System Paint & Snack at Berkshire Athenaeum WED Gallery Scavenger Hunts at Berkshire Museum THU Farm Friends at Hancock Shaker Village | THU Exploring Our World at Berkshire Museum THU Designing with da Vinci at Berkshire Museum THU Lego Lift Off at Berkshire Athenaeum THU Story Time at Berkshire Athenaeum
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