Where: North Adams City Hall
When: Tuesday, Oct. 14. Residents will gather outside North Adams City Hall at
7 p.m. and the Council meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m.
In the wake of the release of a state-sponsored report that confirmed the need for the restoration of inpatient services for the 37,000 residents of Northern Berkshire County currently without those services, a resolution has now been filed with the North Adams City Council by City Council member Benjamin Lamb calling on state and federal elected officials, and the administration of Berkshire Health System to use "all possible means" to reopen the former North Adams Regional Hospital regardless of whether or not Critical Access Hospital designation is achieved (see the text of the resolution below). Concerned residents of North Adams and members of the community coalition who have been advocating for restoration of a full-service hospital will be on hand Tuesday evening when the council takes up the resolution. A group of Williamstown residents will also present the same resolution at the Williamstown Board of Selectmen as a citizen petition on Tuesday evening. The North Adams City Council’s consideration of the resolution follows the passage of similar resolutions by the towns of Adams, Clarksburg, Great Barrington, Hancock and Egremont.
Whereas the sudden and unlawful closure of North Adams Regional Hospital (NARH) on March 28th, 2014 eliminated the only acute inpatient facility and full service Emergency Department serving the 37,000 residents of Northern Berkshire County; and
Whereas the absence of NARH has left most northern Berkshire County residents without access to inpatient services for over 25 miles, ambulance travel of over 45 minutes in case of emergency, and will cost lives and harmfully impact the health and well-being of thousands of Western Massachusetts residents; and
Whereas the Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Service-commissioned Stroudwater Report has confirmed that the health care needs of Northern Berkshire County residents are the greatest in the Commonwealth and has confirmed the need for 18 – 21 acute inpatient beds to meet the needs of northern Berkshire County residents;
Therefore we call upon the Governor of the Commonwealth, the House and Senate of the Commonwealth, the Secretary of the Department of Public Health of the Commonwealth, all state and federal authorities, as well as Berkshire Health Systems to use all possible means to protect the residents of Northern Berkshire County by reopening the former North Adams Regional Hospital as a full service hospital regardless of whether or not Critical Access Hospital designation is achieved.