Proposed closure would eliminate more than 200 health care jobs
Boston (May 27, 2020) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) released the following statement after Trinity Health, owner of Providence Behavioral Health Hospital in Holyoke, responded to his request to reconsider its decision to close 74 child and adult psychiatric beds at the hospital. The inpatient behavioral health beds at Providence Hospital represent roughly forty percent of adult inpatient beds in the region, and one-hundred percent of the pediatric behavioral health beds in western Massachusetts. The proposed closure would also eliminate more than two-hundred health care jobs, including nurses and health care counselors. Trinity Health’s proposed solution for the closure is for patients and their families to drive to Connecticut or Vermont for care, or to rely on other, already-overburdened Massachusetts providers.
Last week, Senator Markey called on Trinity Health to preserve the unit, citing the jobs and loss of critical mental health services during the coronavirus pandemic as key reasons to retain the unit. On May 15, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health deemed the 74 beds “necessary” for the region.
“Providence Hospital provides an essential service for western Massachusetts, and Trinity Health has a responsibility to these communities,” said Senator Markey. “I urge the company to redouble its efforts to recruit needed staff, and to provide sufficient reimbursement to recruit that staff, rather than close down these beds. I am reaching out to Governor Baker to discuss what support the state government can marshal for Providence Hospital, and my office will continue to extend our help in supporting the nurses and other staff who provide critical care at this vital institution.”