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Public Meetings On Healthcare Needs Report Begin Tonight In North Adams

Lucas Willard

The first of two meetings to better explain a healthcare needs report commissioned after the March closure of North Adams Regional Hospital is tonight at 5:30 at the Church Street Center at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.The state-commissioned reportreleased last week by Stroudwater Associates recommends continued emergency services currently being provided at the hospital by Berkshire Health Systems and inpatient services only if it is federally designated as a critical access facility. It estimates operating 35 inpatient beds would cost BHS $2 million more per year than sustaining the current model.

Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services John Polanowicz is looking for more information on the costs.

“I think that’s going to be a big question for people in the community,” Polanowicz said. “If we’re talking $2 million why wouldn’t we do something? I think it’s a broader issue than just that.”

BHS says it is reviewing the report, while the Massachusetts Nurses Association is pushing for a return of inpatient services. Another meeting is set for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Jim is WAMC’s Assistant News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org
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