Agreement to re-open N. Adams ER approved by judge

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – As soon as Wednesday afternoon, crews from Berkshire Medical Center could begin work to re-open the ER at the former North Adams Regional Hospital, as a federal judge in Springfield has endorsed a plan to restore emergency services in the northern Berkshires.

Representatives from Berkshire Medical Center, the Massachusetts Nurses Association, and creditors for NARH were in U.S. District Court for a hearing Wednesday morning on an agreement they reached last week.

The judge’s decision means that BMC can send workers in to begin cleaning the ER as soon as Wednesday.

The “satellite emergency center” would be subject to state inspections before opening, but provided that those go well, the facility could be open to the public by May 19.

Although, it doesn’t appear the entire hospital will open until a sale is complete.

” I would say no, hopefully we can begin emergency services the week of May 19th, we expect to add an outpatient imaging feature,” said Berkshire Health Systems Vice President and General Counsel John Rogers.

Rogers told 22News the state is doing a study to see which services the hospital will eventually provide.

In terms of workers getting their jobs back, Mike Fadel of the Massachusetts Nurses Association told 22News patience will be key.  “We anticipate as services come back nurses and other Hospital staff formerly employed will be returning to those jobs.”

The northern Berkshire region has been without its own emergency care facility since the closing of North Adams Regional Hospital in late March.

Berkshire Medical Center has also reached an agreement to buy NARH.

The bankruptcy court still has to approve this, and an auction may have to be held if there are other bidders. Any deal to buy the hospital likely won’t be official until June. If Berkshire Medical Center buys NARH, it will need to invest at least $10 million for repairs and improvements.

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