Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said he’s not ready to concede that North Adams Regional Hospital is abruptly closing, but he was vague about how he’d prevent it from happening.
Patrick said his public health department worked through the weekend to try to find a solution. And he thought they had one right up until Tuesday, when the board of Northern Berkshire Healthcare announced it was shutting down come Friday.
“And, of course, it leaves a hole in the service network for a very important part of the commonwealth,” Patrick told reporters Wednesday.
Patrick acknowledged the “serious debt issues” the hospital faces. He said he’s dispatched state labor department employees to help the more than 500 people now working at the hospital and related offices.
Still – while offering no details on exactly what was in the works, he offered an optimistic statement.
“I will say, I don’t think this is over,” Patrick said.
Neither do the unions representing some of those workers. An SEIU local is calling on state officials to act and the Massachusetts Nurses Association says it’s considering legal options.
New England Public Radio’s Sarah Birnbaum contributed to this report.