UMass Leominster Hospital Listening Session

Attended a 'listening session' at the UMass Leominster Hospital this morning to discuss changes with their facilities and issues brought up by residents. I'll note a few points discussed:
1. The new Emergency Room Expansion is expected to be complete sometime soon after the new year. They will have a separate ER area for those patients with 'mental health/drug concerns', and are increasing their available ER beds from 24 to 37. They estimate 8-10 beds a day are taken up by Mental health/drug related patients.
2. Credit Cards for Urgent Care: They are still working with the Carewell Urgent care, as an affiliate, to remove the restriction for a Credit card on File for care....but they have not been able to reach agreement yet.
The Leominster UMass Memorial Urgent Care Center does not have a Credit Card on File system, and thus will treat all patients at that facility. For non-acute concerns that you would feel comfortable going to your Doctor for, but cannot wait for an appt---this is where Urgent Care may be able to assist you the quickest. To contrast, for non-acute issues, your wait time in the ER might be very long.
3. Fitchburg Burbank Campus: The future plans for this Campus for the Simonds-Sinon Regional Cancer Center sound very exciting for Fitchburg. We were told that they have received "the biggest donation they have ever received' and plan on expanding our Cancer Center into "The Dana-Farber of Central Massachusetts", when asked how many square feet of the existing facility they were using for the new cancer center---they said "most of it". That timeline is "a few years out"...but are currently renovating a portion of the old Bullock Campus they recently tore down into a new "Community Room" to offer more services and events for the community. A press release will be forth coming.
4. If residents have any concerns or questions about our hospital structure, services, plans or anything else... they offered an open door for more questions or a tour or I'd be happy to note concerns and try to reach out to the Hospital for answers.
I was joined this morning by fellow Fitchburg councilors Beauchemin and Donnelly, Leominster Councilor Challifoux-Zephir, Fitchburg State Rep Hay, & Leominster State Rep Higgins, Lunenburg Fire Chief and Leominster Police Chief among other hospital execs and officials. So can reach out to any of them with questions as well