MNA raises concerns about patient care at behavioral health center in Holyoke

Hampden County

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – On Thursday, the Massachusetts Nurses Association, rallied outside of Providence Behavioral Health Hospital, now known as MiraVista Behavioral Health Center, to voice concerns related to patient care.

The pandemic has taken a toll on mental health across the country. According to the CDC, “symptoms of anxiety disorder and depressive disorder increased considerably in the United States during April – June of 2020, compared with the same period in 2019.”

Following the switch in ownership from Trinity Health to Health Partners New England, the MNA worries patients won’t be getting the care they need.

“You’re going from non for profit to a for-profit corporation and we believe that will undoubtedly affect access to care,” president of the MNA, Katie Murphy told 22News.

The change in ownership also means the MNA won’t have the ability to advocate for the staff and patients, especially during a time when mental health and substance abuse issues are on the rise.

“And when we are organized our voices amplify and when we advocate for nurses, we advocate for our patients and we are very concerned that that advocacy and that voice will not be heard anymore,” Murphy said.

In a response to the rally, MiraVista Behavioral Health Center released a statement, part of that statement reads:

Despite the picketing activities being conducted by the Massachusetts Nurses Association at MiraVista Behavioral Health Center in Holyoke, Health Partners New England’s team at MiraVista remains focused on filling the dire need to provide psychiatric care in Western Massachusetts. As planned, MiraVista began providing outpatient addiction services on site yesterday and will open 36 long-awaited and much-needed psychiatric beds by the end of the month. We regret that the Massachusetts Nurses Association is attempting to distract our patients and our new team members given the enormous efforts to bring back these services at such a crucial time.

Since acquiring Providence Behavioral Health Center in Holyoke last month, HPNE has focused on licensing and opening the 74 beds that were shut down last spring and plans to create 10 more beds in the coming months while continuing to provide substance abuse treatment to the surrounding community. We are proud to say that after months of working to meet licensing and Joint Commission’s standards, we have officially opened our substance abuse facility and will have our first psychiatric beds available early next week. This comes at a crucial time when mental health and substance abuse disorder treatment is at a severe shortage in Western Massachusetts.

We are looking forward to providing the same compassionate, high-quality health-related services in Western Massachusetts that we do at our affiliated facility TaraVista in Devens. Delivering superior patient-centered care will always be our top priority at MiraVista.

Statement Regarding Massachusetts Nurses Association’s Picket at MiraVista Behavioral Health Center

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