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North Berkshire Community Invited to Speak to Health Care Consultants
Staff Reports, iBerkshires Staff
07:08AM / Saturday, June 28, 2014
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A health care consultant will hear from the community this Tuesday at the weekly meeting at the American Legion.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Community members will have a chance to provide their perspective on the medical needs of the community this Tuesday.

Representatives from Stroudwater Associates will attend the weekly meeting at the American Legion on Tuesday beginning at 6 p.m.

Those interested in commenting should arrive early and sign in to speak. Comments should be in writing and be limited to two minutes. The public is invited to attend.

The health care consulting firm based in Portland, Maine, has been commissioned by the state to assess the health care needs and access for Northern Berkshire following the abrupt closure of Northern Berkshire Healthcare.

The weekly meetings have been hosted beginning at 5 p.m. each Tuesday by the unions that had represented workers at NBH, local chapters of 1199SEIU and the Massachusetts Nurses Association.

Stroudwater is in the process of interviewing and surveying a wide range of health care consumers and providers in the region and expects more community meeting to take place as it develops a set of recommendations for the state.  

Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz, attending one of the community meetings earlier this month, said Stroudwaters recommendations later this fall will inform the model for how services should be delivered in North County.

He anticipated that recommendations would be forwarded for action by the Legislature but did not expect that the hospital would be restored to its previous form.

Currently Berkshire Medical Center has been operating a Satellite Emergency Facility at the former hospital and is seeking to expand its imaging abilities for outpatients.  The medical center has proffered in initial bid of $4 million for NBH's assets, which are being auctioned by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court-appointed trustee. The deadline for bids in July 31.

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