|NBH announces reductions to 2012 budget|
Nov 03, 2011
(Nov. 2, 2011) Northern Berkshire Healthcare has announced the elimination of several management positions and reductions in hours for a small number of supervisors. NBH also announced it will close the Women’s Exchange consignment shop in Williamstown, effective December 13. Affected employees are being offered severance pay and support through NBH’s employee assistance program. Other changes include eliminating a part-time lactation consultant position, eliminating an interim IT director and an open RN position, and reducing the use of “traveler” personnel.
The changes will save in excess of $1 million in NBH’s fiscal 2012 budget year and allow the organization to focus resources on healthcare services.
“We are making progress in our debt restructuring effort, and expect to have good news about that in the next few months,” said NBH president Bill Frado. “And we are looking forward to serving our community for years to come. Today’s announcement is a reflection of our vigilant efforts to keep our expenses in line with our revenue, so that we can continue that service.”
Two of the positions being eliminated are tied directly to NBH’s debt restructuring process, which is concluding. Other reductions are based on realistic projections of patient volumes for the coming year, according to Frado. “The healthcare system, locally and globally, is changing quickly and we must conserve our resources and use them where our efforts benefit the community the most,” added Frado.
Frado said the Exchange has not been profitable for the past several years. “This was a very difficult decision but we recognize that if we are to succeed, we have to focus on our core mission – providing healthcare services. We recognize the role that the Women’s Exchange has played over the years, and the role that its many dedicated volunteers have played. But we simply cannot sustain it any longer, as much as we would like to.”
Frado pointed to NBH’s recent success in recruiting new physicians as evidence of its continued focus on community health services. Among new physicians recruited to the community are a general surgeon, Dr. Louis Reines; an obstetrician/gynecologist, Dr. Veronica Del Riccio; an emergency physician, Dr. Kenneth Patterson; a radiologist, Dr. David McQuade; and a hospitalist, Dr. Stephanie Foo. “It’s obvious from these results that Northern Berkshire is still an attractive place for doctors to work. And we are working every day to recruit new primary care doctors, another key to our success.”
NBH will also move the offices of the Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of Northern Berkshire and Northern Berkshire Family Medicine to the NARH campus in the coming months. The consolidation of space will result in annual savings of more than $230,000. The moves are not expected to take place until early 2012. The VNA & Hospice is located on Curran Highway in North Adams, and Northern Berkshire Family Medicine has offices at 820 State Road, North Adams.
Northern Berkshire Healthcare is comprised of North Adams Regional Hospital and the Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of Northern Berkshire, and includes medical practices (Northern Berkshire OB/GYN, Northern Berkshire Family Medicine, and Northern Berkshire General Surgery). NBH employs approximately 600 people in full- and part-time positions.