News & Events

Nurses and Community Celebrate Announced Re-Opening of North Adams Regional Hospital as an In-Patient Hospital After Years of Advocacy

Berkshire Health Systems announced on June 29 that it plans to open 25 beds at its North Adams campus, former home to North Adams Regional Hospital before it closed with three days’ notice in 2014

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. – Following a decade of advocacy by registered nurses and community members, Berkshire Health Systems plans to re-open the former North Adams Regional Hospital with 25 beds and a medical-surgical floor, restoring some of the inpatient resources serving more than 30,000 residents in the Northern Berkshires and southwestern Vermont that were lost when the hospital suddenly closed in March 2014.

In a statement, Massachusetts Nurses Association Co-Chairs at Berkshire Medical Center Alex Neary, RN, and Gerri Jakacky, RN, and North Adams Campus ED Rep. Ruth O’Hearn, RN, said:

“As nurses, we are thrilled that our patients will have better access to essential inpatient care closer to their homes. We have joined with the North County Cares Coalition and other advocates for many years, calling for the return of an inpatient hospital to North Adams. The announced beds will help restore some of what our communities lost in 2014, though nothing can replace the years of diminished access to care. We appreciate the decision by Berkshire Health Systems and look forward to working with BHS leadership to ensure the re-opening process is smooth and respects the needs of patients, nurses, and all caregivers.”

“The abrupt and unnecessary closure of North Adams Regional Hospital forced tens of thousands of people to find care further away from their communities, making it harder for them to recover from injury and illness and placing their lives at risk. There was no moral justification for the closure. The hospital was burdened by crippling real estate debt by its previous owner, which provided three days’ notice of the closure to the public in violation of state law. Since the closure, nurses and the community have persistently advocated for re-opening, citing community health needs and urging BHS to open beds with or without a critical access designation because of the ongoing viability of inpatient services in North County.”

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Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association is the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its 25,000 members advance the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Legislature and regulatory agencies on healthcare issues affecting nurses and the public.