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The home for VPR's coverage of health and health industry issues affecting the state of Vermont.

North Adams Gets 'Walk-In' Clinic

Some relief for residents of Northern Berkshire County Wednesday evening. A temporary clinic was scheduled to open at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

The hospital in North Adams shuttered in late March, sending folks seeking emergency room treatment up to Bennington, Vermont, or south to Pittsfield. Now if they need quick attention – but their illness or injury isn’t too severe – they can stop by the MCLA campus. A section of the college Wellness Center will be staffed by employees of Pittsfield’s Berkshire Medical Center.

“It’s really a good thing that the college has taken this step to provide for lack of a better word kind of a walk in clinic, I guess – or infirmary of some sort,” says Richard Alconbright, mayor of North Adams.

The clinic will only serve those 18 years and older, and it won’t provide emergency care. Only common illnesses – like throat infections and minor wounds, such as sprains, will be treated.

This is a stopgap measure before the week of May 19th, when Berkshire Medical Center is scheduled to open a satellite ER in the North Adams hospital building. A spokesperson says staff right now are preparing that facility to make sure it’s usable – with the right equipment and a stock of supplies.