Nurses protesting at hospital bankruptcy hearing

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A delegation of nurses from the now-closed North Adams Regional Hospital were at the  U.S. District Court in Springfield Monday afternoon, where a status conference was being held to discuss the recent bankruptcy filing by the owners of the hospital.

NARH filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Thursday; less than a week after shutting down amid financial difficulties. About 500 people worked for the hospital, and while 75 have been re-hired to work there once the ER opens again, the future remains unclear for the rest of the workers.

north adams hospital protesters 2During the protest, nurses, along with northern Berkshire County residents, called for the immediate restoration of North Adams Regional Hospital as a full service hospital.

Court-appointed trustee Harold Murphy told a bankruptcy judge, although there’s no opening date set, the number one priority right now for everyone involved is reopening the Emergency Department at the North Adams Regional Hospital.

Protesters told 22News an ER is an essential part of their community.

Mary Marlowe, a hospital employee, said, “The community is up in arms and they are afraid. The senior citizens are afraid. We’ve had two medical emergencies in my own particular church each weekend.”

Right now people in northern Berkshire County must drive about half an hour to Pittsfield in emergency situations.

Eileen Hartley, a hospital employee, said,” It’s a 2.5 hour turnaround for EMS to go down there and come back. By the time they get patients in and reports and everything, that’s a long time for our community.”

Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield is waiting for state and federal approval so they can reopen the Emergency Dept.

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