To our Baystate Noble Community,
Though the world around us continues to be uncertain, Baystate Health remains firm in its charitable mission: to improve the health of the people in our communities every day, with quality and compassion. As a keystone western Massachusetts healthcare provider, we balance community health and resources with regional needs.
I am writing to share important information about Baystate Noble and to let you know that we will not be participating in an upcoming Massachusetts Nursing Association (MNA) event focused on Baystate Noble. We believe it is important to share our reasons for not participating and share some background on how we make decisions about community health resources.
Our focus is on community building and productive dialogue
- We are currently in the midst of negotiating an updated contract with the MNA for Baystate Noble. Many of the issues the MNA plans to raise at the forum are topics currently being discussed as part of contract negotiations. As a matter of policy and labor law precedent, and out of respect for our nurses represented under this contract, we will continue to operate in good faith and engage in contract negotiations directly with the MNA, not in public settings.
- Now more than ever, it is critical that we come together as a community to manage the challenges that have been put before us. Unfortunately, the MNA’s attitude and approach is consistently confrontational and divisive. At a time when we are working hard to care for patients and each other by fostering a sense of community and shared purpose across our system and throughout our community, this approach is counterproductive and we choose not to allow it to escalate through this type of public forum.
- Productive conversations are based on facts and a big picture perspective. Unfortunately, the recent MNA survey doesn’t focus on healthcare investment, data on actual community use of Baystate Noble or community health outcomes. Instead, it relies on fearmongering and vague accusations.
We value all of our employees at Baystate Health, including the hardworking and dedicated nurses at Baystate Noble. I value and appreciate the positive relationship we enjoy with our nurses and do not appreciate the harsh influence that MNA leadership is driving from outside the area to support its own agenda. Our goal is to support our local nurses and work to negotiate a mutually beneficial contract renewal in the near term that will allow us to move together into the future in a productive, collaborative manner.
Investing in healthy communities and quality care
During these challenging times, I am extremely proud of the entire team at Baystate Noble Hospital. The care at Baystate Noble is second to none, and the front line nurses have been an important part of our success. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the enormous value of a regional approach to our healthcare system. Working together – with programs ranging from expert trauma and ICU level care at Baystate Medical Center to the local services in our community hospitals, like Baystate Noble – we have helped provide the highest quality care for our community throughout this challenging time.
The pandemic reinforced the value of our careful assessment of community health needs and data around usage patterns in our hospital and at all entities. Baystate Health is committed to providing safe and appropriate care at the right time in the right place. A few key facts that are important to know:
- Decisions on services at Baystate Noble (and across the health system) are made based on data and community usage patterns. For example, as we have noted in the past, the ICU previously saw on average one patient per day requiring true ICU level care.
- By taking a regional approach to mental health care, we are actually increasing capacity. Our planned partnership to build a dedicated, state-of-the-art behavioral health hospital adds patient care beds and addresses the acute shortage of inpatient care.
- Wait times at Baystate Noble’s Emergency Department have been (on average) 33 minutes during the past six months. We are pleased that we have continued to provide patients with access to timely care when needed throughout this pandemic while making all adjustments to protocols to ensure a safe care environment for everyone.
Our entire team of dedicated professionals will continue to focus its efforts on providing preventive healthcare services, addressing emergency needs and managing the ongoing threat of COVID-19.
I am confident that our approach to care is successfully meeting the community health needs of Westfield and the surrounding communities. I thank you for your partnership and support of all that we do to advance care and enhance lives for the people in our community.
President, Baystate Noble Hospital
President, Baystate Franklin Medical Center – Northern Region?