SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and HHS Commissioner Helen Caulton Harris met with nursing home officials to discuss the pending closure of four long-term care facilities in western Massachusetts.

The meeting was called by State Representative Michael Finn and State Senator John Velis. Also, attending this meeting were Chicopee Mayor John Vieau, State Representatives Shirley Arriaga, Kelly Pease and Aaron Saunders, and State Senator Jacob Oliveira.

Northeast Health Group impacted facilities:

• Chapin Center in Springfield
• Willimansett Center West in Chicopee
• Willimansett Center East in Chicopee
• Governor’s Center in Westfield

Sarno said that the number one goal for all involved was to protect residents and their families. Mayor Sarno also added that he has also contacted David Cruise, President and CEO for MassHire on behalf of the employees too.

Mayor Sarno stated, “The number one goal for all of us involved in this meeting is to work towards a plausible solution to protect those residents and their families potentially affected by these changes and to save jobs.  Though these changes were meant in a good way, they have brought unintended consequences.  We all pledged to work together to take our message that other safe public health options/measures can and should be explored to keep all these four facilities open.  This is the only way that they can all survive and keep giving those residents and their families a peace of mind.” 

“We’ll keep fighting for these residents, their families and the employees so that no one is left out in the cold,” said Mayor Sarno.