Mayor on NARH: hopefully things come together by Tuesday

Posted at: 03/28/2014 11:35 PM
Updated at: 03/29/2014 8:52 AM
By: Dan Levy

NORTH ADAMS, Mass - After a tumultuous week in the northern Berkshires, there seems to be some potentially encouraging news concerning the North Adams Regional Hospital that shut down on Friday.

On a day when police had to clear the hospital grounds of protestors, and a day when the emergency room was supposed to reopen temporarily but had to shut down because of short supplies, the uncertainty continues at the NARH, although the city's mayor says there is still a good supply of hope.

"On Tuesday we're hoping this all comes together at Berkshire Medical Center, a partner," says Mayor Richard Alcombright, "We're hoping the reopening of the emergency room (happens) and the financing package comes together."

If the ER reopens next week, Alcombright says he's hopeful 60 to 80 people can still collect a paycheck, but that leaves more than 400 other workers on the unemployment line.

"People are ready, willing, and able to work," said Jeff Hall, spokesman for 1199 SEIU, which represents nearly 200 hospital workers, "It is encouraging to see that despite the crisis created by the haste by which this closure was announced, that elected officials, community members, and caregivers are all standing united to say this struggle is not over."

Meanwhile, the mayor says it appears just a few things have to come together to restore emergency services, and he's confidant the right people have the right ideas to get it done.

"We got the A Team going from the state," Alcombright says, "Including the governor to the attorney general, to the secretaries, and everything is being done that can be done to restore those jobs."

Until and if emergency services are restored in North Adams, the mayor says emergency situations will be closely monitored by police and dispatchers and ambulances will be transporting serious medical cases to either Pittsfield or Bennington.

Anyone needed emergency service should still call 911.