LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Baystate Health and Shields Health announced Thursday that three Urgent Care Centers in western Massachusetts will close by the end of March.
“The difficult but necessary decision to close these jointly-owned urgent care centers is reflective of the fact that like most of our health care colleagues across the nation, we are struggling with staff shortages and these urgent care sites are no exception,” said Dr. Mark A. Keroack, MPH, president and CEO of Baystate Health.
Baystate Health and Shields Health sent a news release to 22News Thursday afternoon that states Baystate Health Urgent Care Centers in Longmeadow, Feeding Hills, and Westfield will close.
“I know from some people in town that it’s been really hard to get in there and have an appointment, so I’d rather them utilize their resources to deliver really high-quality services then,” said Bryan Gross of Longmeadow.
Hem Pokharel of Longmeadow adds, “It’s actually very disappointing news, we’ve liked it so much we’ve started going there more often. Years, you have a cold, you wanted a vaccine, it was there.”
The president and CEO Dr. Mark Keroack said these closures will happen by March 31st, citing staff shortages that much of the nation is being met with. Some residents in Longmeadow say they understand the choice to go in the direction… others believe it will create inconvenience for the community.
“I’ve had good care there, the times that I have gone, a couple times, my son has been very pleased with it. And it’s sad that it’s due to staffing, that they don’t have the staff to do it. I wish they would stay open… please reconsider,” said Virginia Stempel of Agawam.
Baystate Health will continue to offer walk-in appointments and services at their Convenient Care locations in Springfield, Northampton, and Palmer.
Employees affected by these closures will be able to find a new role through Baystate Health or at Shields Health. 22News contacted Baystate Health but they declined to comment.