Letter: What I heard
I attended the meeting of the Baystate Franklin Medical Center nurses because I was concerned about the unfortunate climate I had been reading about between the nurses, their union and the hospital administration.
I was frankly surprised when, the following day, I read that the meeting had consisted mainly of complaints against the hospital.
Granted, we all tend to hear things in each our own way but, to me, most of what was said consisted of a lot of praise and affection for Baystate Franklin Medical Center. Most people expressed gratitude for excellent care received there over the years and gratitude that the hospital is here for the people of Franklin County.
At the same time, there was a lot of concern expressed that the hospital was seen to be reducing the amount of care that is available within our community and that more and more services seem to be offered almost exclusively in Springfield. For families who have had to drive to Springfield to visit a sick child, this seemed particularly difficult and onerous, especially for those families who live in the hill towns or who have other young children at home or who might not have a reliable car in which to travel.
It seemed to me that people were expressing not so much anger as fear that we were being abandoned by the Baystate corporation and were feeling disempowered in the decisions being made about our care.
While people expressed support and appreciation for the nurses and their cause, the impression I was left with was that people were especially grateful to have been given the chance to gather together and to express their concerns.