Northern Berkshire Healthcare has announced it will close North Adams Regional Hospital. The Board of Trustees cites a worsening financial status following Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2011, financial restructuring and the closing of its psychiatric facility in January.
Effective Friday, North Adams’ largest employer will lay off approximately 530 full- and part-time employees. The VNA and Hospice of Northern Berkshire and three medical practices owned by NBH will also cease operations.
At a December meeting regarding the closing of Greylock Pavilion, NBH Board of Trustee Dr. Arthur Turton said the organization had 13 days of cash on hand.
“During the bankruptcy, which was a pretty dire time for us as far as finances, I think we got down to about 12, I don’t think we got below 12, and that was considered a crisis at that point,” Turton said. “Here we are back in that range again despite all the efforts that have been made to shore up the finances of the hospital.”
Serving roughly 40,000 people in northern Berkshire County, southern Vermont and bordering New York, NBH is working with ambulance services to secure access to emergency care at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield and Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington. Northern Berkshire Family Medicine, Northern Berkshire OB/GYN and Northern Berkshire General Surgery will also close.
Democratic State Senator Ben Downing of Pittsfield released the following statement.
“The Northern Berkshires need a hospital," Downing said in the statement. "Everyone in the region - patients and employees, most acutely - will be impacted by the Board's decision today. I firmly believe this could have and should have been avoided. In the coming days, I will do everything in my power to ensure access to critical healthcare services, to support the community and the workers and to help answer the many questions we all have.”