Providence Hospital In Holyoke, Mass., Makes Case To State For Closing Psychiatric Units

Jun 1, 2020

Providence Hospital in Holyoke has responded to questions from Massachusetts state officials about its plans to close all its inpatient psychiatric units.

Providence wants to eliminate its 50 adult and 24 child psychiatric beds by June 30 — plus about 200 jobs.

Trinity Health, which owns the hospital, said it can’t find enough psychiatrists and is losing money on the units.

But the state – which has to approve the closing – asked for proof that the company has tried to find enough psychiatrists, and for assurance that western Massachusetts patients will still have access to treatment.

In a filing last week, Trinity listed its failed recruitment effort for psychiatrists, and said there are enough psychiatric beds at two of its Connecticut hospitals — Mt. Sinai Hospital in Hartford and Johnson Memorial Hospital in Stafford Springs — within 40 minutes of Holyoke.

Trinity said it's working on transportation options for families and agreements to accept Massachusetts-based insurance.

Michelle Reardon, a representative of a labor union at Providence, said the solutions are too vague. She’s concerned patients, especially children, will be sent even farther away as beds become more scarce.

But short of a reprieve from the governor, Reardon said she's expecting the closing to go through.

The state now has 10 days to respond to the latest filing.

Providence Hospital plans to keep its substance abuse units open.