- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 26, 2014

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. (AP) - More than 500 people are without a job and patients across northern Berkshire County are looking for answers following the announced closure of North Adams Regional Hospital and its affiliates.

Northern Berkshire Healthcare, which owns the hospital, a visiting nurse and hospice group, and three medical practices, announced Tuesday that it will shut down Friday.

The group’s trustees approved the closure in response to a “worsening financial status.”

The board said in a statement that “given our finances and the daunting challenges that small rural community hospitals are facing in this health care environment, we can no longer continue.”

Local lawmakers say they are working with the state authorities on a bailout package to keep the hospital running as it sought a more stable partner for a merger.

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