Massachusetts OKs GI unit closure at a UMass hospital

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health determined Wednesday there are no legal issues regarding UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton (Mass.) Hospital's decision to close its gastrointestinal unit, according to The Telegram.

While hospital officials will host a public meeting Feb. 21 to hear the community's concerns, there will be no hearing regarding the unit closure.

"The Hospital may proceed with its plans to cease performing endoscopy procedures at its Clinton Campus," Stephen Davis, a licensure unit manager for the state DPH wrote, according to the report.

Staff members at the hospital were notified in January that the GI unit would close, impacting eight employees. UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton CEO Deborah Weymouth cited physician staffing changes as the main reason for closing the unit.  

The eight affected employees will be offered positions elsewhere in the health system.

The Massachusetts Nursing Association does not agree with the DPH's decision.

"The Department of Public Health, Deborah Weymouth and Health Alliance have demonstrated a total lack of respect for the patients. No one outside the Health-Alliance system approves of this," Mary Ellen Thompson, chairman of the nurses union at the Clinton Hospital, told The Telegram.

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