To the editor of THE EAGLE:
As residents of Northern Berkshire, our faith community of All Saints Episcopal Church is shocked and concerned over the recent closing of North Adams Regional Hospital. We pray that our health care system can be stabilized in a way that responds to the needs of the people of our towns.
As plans are made for that health care system, our hope is that the health problems of all our citizens are considered. Many of our people do not have the financial resources to afford high levels of medical care, yet are often those most in need of them. These are folks who often have to choose between needed medication and food; they are also people who find traveling 20 miles for health care too expensive or daunting. Illnesses that could be easily prevented or quickly cured then fester and contribute to disability and poverty.
The impact of closing the largest employer in North Adams is enormous, and will also contribute to existing food insecurity and large-scale unemployment. Our hearts and prayers are with the good people who worked at the hospital and provided thoughtful and personal care. We thank you for all you have done to provide your skills and reassurance to patients, and we know the Holy Spirit is with you.
Our Northern Berkshire community has a big heart -- we love and care for one another, and this is a time when we need each other more than ever. Know that All Saints Church is here for you.
The letter was signed by the vestry of All Saints Berkshires: Bob Blair, Al McLain, Brian Johnson, Sue Walker, Debi Ciempa, Rose Sarkis, Joe DeOrdio, Bob Norcross, Marissa Parker, Bill Thayer, Christi Hill, Sue Davis and Butch King.