Emergency Services in North Adams to Reopen Monday

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The emergency room at the former NARH will reopen as a satellite emergency facility under Berkshire Medical Center on Monday.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Berkshire Medical Center will open its planned satellite emergency facility at the former North Adams Regional Hospital on Monday at noon.

BMC has been working to restore emergency services at the hospital since its abrupt closure on March 28.

"The BMC SEF in North Adams will be capable of handling any emergency situation," said Dr. Ronald Hayden,  chairman of emergency medicine at BMC and medical director of the BMC Emergency Department, in a statement. "It is a full-service facility for both critical and non-critical emergency care, and it will be staffed by many of the same physicians and nurses who had previously served Northern Berkshire patients in the NARH Emergency Department."

The facility will provide comprehensive emergency services to the entire North Berkshire community, and will be open 24 hours a day. It is licensed through BMC and the BMC Emergency Department by the state Department of Public Health and will include emergency diagnostic services, including CT scanning, X-ray and laboratory testing.

Patients will be treated in the emergency room; severely injured or ill patients will be stabilized and transferred to the most appropriate hospital for further care, as there will be no inpatient services or surgical services available on-site.

"Berkshire Health Systems is committed to meeting the health care needs of Northern Berkshire residents and visitors, and local access to around-the-clock emergency care is a critical community need," said David Phelps, president and CEO of BHS, in the statement. "The development and opening of a satellite emergency facility is a complex process, and thanks to the hard work of the staff from many areas of BMC and through the dedication exhibited by our local, state and federal officials, the licensure process was expedited on both the state and federal levels.

"I thank our elected representatives at the State House and in Congress for their concentrated effort on behalf of BMC and the people of Northern Berkshire."

According to leasing agreements with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court-appointed trustee for Northern Berkshire Healthcare BMC Inc. has the right to operate the facility for no less than 365 days, pending the outcome of a public auction of the defunct health-care systems assets. BMC has made an initial offer of $4 million for the hospital and physician's building on State Road.

Former NBH workers and community members have been pressuring for the hospital to reopen with full services and federal Critical-Care Access designation; the state Department of Public Health is planning a survey to determine what medical needs are critical to the region.

In preparation of the opening of the North Adams facility, BMC and the local emergency response providers established a coordinated EMS response system to ensure rapid response and coverage for any emergent situation in Northern Berkshire. Ambulance services invested in additional equipment and resources to meet the needs of the community.

BMC has also been buttressing medical services in North Berkshire by opening a walk-in clinic at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' wellness center on Church Street.

Northern Berkshire residents should call 911 if they know someone who has a medical emergency, such as being unconscious, gasping for air or not breathing, experiencing an allergic reaction, having chest pain or stroke symptoms, having uncontrollable bleeding, or any other symptom that requires immediate medical attention.

Tags: BMC,   emergency services,   NARH,   

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North Adams Lifts Boil Water Notice

Crews spent long hours digging, filling and chasing down gates, leavened with a little levity.
Update on Saturday Sept. 26, 1 p.m.: The state Department of Environmental Protection has lifted the boil water order issued Friday for residents affected by the water main break on River Street.
It is no longer necessary to use boiled water or bottled water for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and preparing food. The City of North Adams apologizes for any inconvenience and thanks you for your patience.
The areas specifically identified as potentially affected were:
River Street, Yale Street, Upper Meadow Street, Williams Street, North Street, Cady Street, Pitt Street, Chesbro Avenue, Chase Avenue, North Holden Street, Dover Street, Miner Street, Wal-Mart, and McCann Technical School.
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