Ware town leaders surprised by Baystate Health’s decision to close Mary Lane facility

Hampden County

WARE, Mass. (WWLP) – Since 1909, residents in Ware relied on Mary Lane for health care.

However, that will come to an end over the course of the next two years. Baystate’s announcement to close the facility this week was something the town didn’t see coming.

“It’s very disappointing, there are still people reliant on it for services,” said Ware Town Manager, Stuart Beckley. “We certainly didn’t expect the suddenness of the announcement.”

Beckley said the Mary Lane hospital had long been an economic force for the town, having been one of the largest employers for many years. It came into the Baystate Health system in 1991, but patient volume started to significantly decline after Baystate Wing opened in Palmer in 2014. As a result, two years later, Mary Lane became solely an outpatient facility. As part of the future transition, by June, Mary Lane’s cancer services will be entirely phased out.

Some of the Mary Lane cancer care services will be transitioned to Baystate’s D’Amour Center for Cancer Care in Springfield. Baystate realizes the need for transportation services and plans to increase them for patients in eastern Hampden County.

According to Baystate Health, nearly half of the Mary Lane outpatient center is vacant by day and 90-percent is unused at night. Beckley told 22News its important to remember that those numbers are also reflective of the overall decrease in people seeking health care this year, and how more people need inpatient, emergency care at night.

Baystate Health plans to hold a virtual town hall next Wednesday to address community concerns about the closure.

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