NORTH ADAMS -- Five weeks after North Adams Regional Hospital closed, shutting down access to emergency care in Northern Berkshire, Berkshire Medical Center and MCLA have opened a walk-in care clinic.

And while patients with true emergencies still will have to travel to hospitals in Pittsfield or Bennington, Vt., the BMC Walk-In Care Center will provide general non-emergency health care services.

The center, which opened to the public at 5 p.m. Wednesday, will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily in the MCLA MountainOne Wellness Center on Church Street near the corner of Porter Street. It will be open at least until the opening of the BMC Satellite Emergency Facility at the former NARH, expected in mid-May.

"This partnership is part of Berkshire Medical Center's ongoing commitment to providing health services for those in need in Northern Berkshire," said David Phelps, president and CEO of Berkshire Health Systems, parent company of BMC, in a prepared statement. "I am thankful for the leadership and support from Gov. (Deval) Patrick, our Berkshire state lawmakers, MCLA President Mary Grant and Mayor Richard Alcombright in helping BMC to provide this key service in Northern Berkshire."

The center will be staffed with BMC nurses, and will be available for any adult residing in or visiting North Berkshire. The MCLA Wellness Center will continue to serve students, faculty and staff of the college.

Care provided at the new clinic will include assessment and treatment of common illnesses and minor injuries, including minor wounds, abrasions, joint sprains, skin conditions, throat and other infections, some urinary tract infections and other minor conditions. All commercial insurance plans, MassHealth and Medicare will be accepted.

"This is the result of a beneficial collaboration between President Mary Grant and BMC to further help the community," Alcombright said. "It's a really god short-term solution for non-emergency situations."

Where to call ...

Northern Berkshire residents and visitors in need of emergency care should call 911 or visit the emergency department at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield or at the Southern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington.

For more information about the BMC Walk-in Care Center, call (413) 447-2000.