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Partnership Will Bring More Surgeons To Northern Berkshires

Lucas Willard

A collaboration between healthcare providers in the Berkshires will help expand surgical services in the northern portion of the region. 

Thursday in North Adams, Northern Berkshire Healthcare announced a new partnership with Pittsfield-based Berkshire Surgical Associates that will bring two general surgeons to North Adams Regional Hospital.

Timothy Jones, president and CEO of Northern Berkshire Healthcare, said that the additional surgical staff made available through the collaboration will help the North Adams Regional Hospital treat patients closer to home.

Jones said the partnership with Berkshire Surgical Associates comes at a time where healthcare providers across the country are experiencing a shortage in both primary care doctors and general surgeons.

"To meet the needs of the community, we felt like we needed to create a partnership that could support those demands," said Jones.

Christopher Pedersen, Administrator of Berkshire Surgical Associates, said that the partnership will help patients find treatment across the county. Surgeons from his company also practice in Pittsfield and Great Barrington. Pedersen said that the two surgeons that will share time in both Pittsfield and North Adams, Dr. Jose Heisecke and Dr. Christian Galvez, will be able to share their expertise in a variety of disciplines…

"They will be providing general surgery...but they both are also vascular surgeons and also have a specialty in thoracic surgery," said Pedersen.

Dr. Jose Heisecke, a native of the U.S. and raised in Paraguay, said that since completing his residency at Berkshire Medical Center and during his time working in Pittsfield he has often treated patients from the northern Berkshires several miles from home…

"We have been seeing patients from North Adams for a long time in our office in Pittsfield," said Dr. Heisecke. "We want the patient to have as much service as they can close to home."

Dr. Galvez acknowledged that hospitals in rural areas often struggle to recruit doctors who may find it more difficult to relocate. However, he also spoke on behalf of Dr. Heisecke when he said that is not the case for them.

"We trained in the Berkshires, we think this is a great place to raise our families, and we love the area," said Dr. Galvez.

The partnership will begin July 3rd.

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.
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