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New president has vision for hospital

Sees community as vital partner

  • Baystate Franklin Medical Center President Steven Bradley takes a call at a table in his office on Wednesday.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell

    Baystate Franklin Medical Center President Steven Bradley takes a call at a table in his office on Wednesday.
    Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »

  • Steven Bradley, President of Baystate Franklin Medical Center, sits at a table in his office on Wednesday<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell

    Steven Bradley, President of Baystate Franklin Medical Center, sits at a table in his office on Wednesday
    Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »

  • Baystate Franklin Medical Center President Steven Bradley stands in his Greenfield office on Wednesday. Recorder/Micky Bedell

    Baystate Franklin Medical Center President Steven Bradley stands in his Greenfield office on Wednesday. Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »

  • Baystate Franklin Medical Center President Steven Bradley takes a call at a table in his office on Wednesday.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell
  • Steven Bradley, President of Baystate Franklin Medical Center, sits at a table in his office on Wednesday<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell
  • Baystate Franklin Medical Center President Steven Bradley stands in his Greenfield office on Wednesday. Recorder/Micky Bedell

GREENFIELD — Over the next five years, Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s new president plans to invest in the hospital and usher in a new chapter in its 100-year history.

The hospital’s future, Steven Bradley says, is to become one of the strongest community hospitals in the nation, a place where top doctors seeking a rural community set out to work, and one in which the residents of Franklin County are a vital partner.

“I’m very passionate about helping the hospital get to this point,” Bradley said. “I hope the hospital will be a national destination for top physicians and nurses who want to work in a small rural community hospital. That’s what I intend to do in the next five years.”

It’s been a little over a month since Bradley took the reins of the 700-employee hospital.

While Bradley spent much of his first few weeks meeting with the hospital staff and transitioning from his previous position as Baystate Health’s vice president for government and community relations, he has also quickly developed a vision for Franklin County’s hospital.

Bradley’s leadership marks a new chapter in the hospital’s history as it heals its wounds inflicted from a sometimes bitter three-year nursing contract negotiation that ended this February in an hours-long closed meeting among hospital administrators, the nurses’ union and state legislators.

“My hope is this will be an opportunity to put behind us the bumps and bruises from the contract negotiations and come together as a community and celebrate the fact that we have our own community hospital in this county,” he says. “It’s time for all of us ... physicians, existing patients and future patients and families to come together and raise up our hospital.”

Part of Bradley’s vision is the planned $23 million operating suit to entice top doctors and surgeons from around the country. The new operating rooms would allow residents to receive services closer to home in Greenfield rather than travelling to other hospitals, Bradley said.

The state approved the expansion and renovation project last week. The hospital plans to raise the money through community fundraising, borrowing from its parent hospital in Springfield and in other ways. He hopes to have the new suit running by spring 2016.

“The hospital is really owned by the people of Franklin County,” Bradley said. “We exist for the purpose of providing necessary and needed community hospital services to the residents of the county.”

Based on the last capital campaign in 2006, in which the community supported the renovation and expansion of the emergency, radiology and medical surgical departments, Bradley hopes the community will come forward again.

Bradley sees a strengthened collaboration between Baystate Health in Springfield and Baystate Franklin Medical Center — a partnership in which the Greenfield hospital could reap expanded services and expertise.

“I see a brand new era of support and collaboration coming our way from the leadership at Baystate Health. There’s a commitment to expand physician services to Franklin County,” Bradley said. “It feels to me like it’s a new era.”

The parent hospital is already planning to have some of its physicians come to Greenfield one to two days a week to provide services.

A fan of the local farming effort, Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture, Bradley wants to borrow some of CISA’s methods to help usher in the hospital’s renewed focus on community.

“It’s something folks in Franklin County really understand and have a deep support for. They understand if you want to stay rural and support the local economy, you’ve got to keep the farms and you need to support local farmers,” Bradley said. “People do that. They go out of their way to support their neighbors. It’s because of that commitment Franklin County can preserve its heritage.”

The hospital officials understand the community wants the hospital to remain and grow, Bradley said. But to do that, Bradley said it will need support from the community whether it is through working at the hospital or wanting to use it for its services.

“It takes a community to support a hospital,” Bradley said. “We have to roll up our sleeves and get going.”

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at: kmckiernan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261 ext. 268 On Twitter, follow @RecorderKatMcK

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