The emergency room at North Adams Regional Hospital could re-open in mid-May, more than seven weeks after the hospital abruptly closed. The agreement was announced Thursday during a federal bankruptcy court hearing in Springfield.
The North Adams emergency room would be a satellite of Pittsfield-based Berkshire Medical Center, according to a BMC statement. Berkshire Medical also plans to buy the now-vacant hospital building. But other groups have 45 days to place bids on it, which would trigger a bankruptcy auction. If Berkshire Medical does win the bid, the hospital says it plans to spend $10 million on repairs in North Adams. David Schildmeier, spokesman for the state nurses’ union says the agreement is an important first step.
“The ultimate solution that the community wants, the nurses and the employees want, is the restoration of a full-service hospital that meets the needs of the 38,000 residents who live and are served by that facility,” Schildmeier says.
A Berkshire Medical spokesperson declined to be interviewed. The hospital has not announced any plans to re-open more of the North Adams facility, though some services, like hospice, have continued uninterrupted. The agreement to re-open the emergency room is still subject to court approval, with a hearing set for April 30th.