Franklin County Nurses and Community Leaders to Hold a Community Forum on March 6 in Greenfield to Discuss the Future of Baystate Franklin Medical Center

Participants Will Discuss the Impact of the Erosion of Services at BFMC

Community Members to Share Ideas and Strategies to Ensure BFMC Remains a Full-Service Community Hospital Providing a Full Range of Services Close to Home

GREENFIELD, Mass., March 4, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is released by Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United:

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20060525/NETH016LOGO)

When:      Wednesday, March 6
                 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.

Where:     Greenfield High School, 1 Lenox Ave., Greenfield, MA

What:       Registered nurses from Baystate Franklin Medical Center (BFMC), along with other community leaders and advocates will be hosting a Community Forum on the Future of Baystate Franklin Medical Center on March 6 to allow residents of Franklin County to share their concerns and discuss actions community members can take to ensure the continuation of BFMC as a full-service community hospital, providing a full range of services close to home.

Franklin Medical Center was founded in 1895 and, for nearly a hundred years, it was a stand-alone hospital providing health care to tens of thousands of Franklin County residents. In 1986, Baystate Health took over Franklin Medical Center and initially, affiliation with a major health system that had a teaching hospital at its core was a positive development for BFMC. But in the last decade, Baystate Health began cutting services at Franklin Medical Center and in recent years has intensified its program of outsourcing patient care to its flagship facility in Springfield, nearly 40 miles south of Greenfield. These cuts include the elimination of pediatric services, reduced urology services, reduced services for the treatment of cardiovascular disease, elimination of home care services and reduced lab services, along with cuts in the staff who deliver direct patient care.  

According to Linda Judd, a nurse at the hospital and co chair of the Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United local bargaining unit, "We believe that the people of this community have the right to have a say in the decisions that will reduce health disparities, promote community wellness and improve access to care in our community at our hospital. We hope this forum will initiate a process to ensure a healthy future for our hospital and our community."

"I am concerned about the availability of top notch health care in Franklin County and am interested in learning about the experiences people are having and in discussing ways that we might work together to ensure quality health care for everyone," said Susan Worgafik, a resident of Greenfield and forum participant. 

Who:      Nurses, community leaders, residents of Franklin County. Greenfield Town Councilor, Karen "Rudy" Renaud, will serve as moderator for the forum. 

Contact:   David Schildmeier, 781-249-0430 for more information to schedule interviews with participants prior to the forum. 

SOURCE Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United



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