Petitions to save hospital brought to State House

BOSTON (WWLP) – A group of nurses from the closed North Adams Regional Hospital traveled to the State House Tuesday to deliver petitions demanding the facility be re-opened as a full-service hospital.

Concerned residents and workers from North Adams Regional Hospital traveled to the State House with an urgent message to lawmakers.

“We want our health care back and we want a full service hospital, not just a little satellite emergency room,” said Robbin Simonetti, a former nurse at North Adams Regional Hospital.

So far, Berkshire Medical Center has received state-level approval to open a satellite emergency facility in northern Berkshire County, but federal certification is required before North Adams Regional Hospital can reopen its doors.

“We have already licensed them as a Department of Public Health. We are working with the financial intermediary and centers for Medicaid and Medicare Service, CMS, to license the facility,” said Secretary Polanowicz from the Executive Offices of Health and Human Services.

Secretary Polanowicz said they have received support from the federal government to reopen the facility, but residents from northwest parts of the state feel very differently.

“Because we’re the northwest corner, we often feel like we’re the forgotten people. We’re the most remote city from Boston; we don’t get the funding, our issues aren’t as critical,” said Karin Roberts, former nurse at North Adams Regional Hospital.

As residents enter their fourth week without access to proper health care services, they hope their voices will be heard by legislators and that North Adams Regional Hospital will be fully-restored as soon as possible.

The state, as well as Berkshire Medical Center, has done everything they need to do to reopen emergency services. As we wait for federal approval, residents hope their concerns will be heard by lawmakers to restore all units of the hospital.

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