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Check it out: Forum set on rising health care costs


Monday, August 27, 2018

Compiled by Andy Castillo. Send items of interest to acastilo@gazettenet.com.

Forum set on rising health care costs

The Springfield Regional Chamber and the Greater Easthampton and Chicopee chambers of commerce will present a forum on the rising costs of health care and the impact on businesses and patient care Sept. 21 from 8 to 9 a.m. at the TD Bank Conference Center, 1441 Main Street, Springfield.

Registration and continental breakfast begin at 7:30 a.m. Discussion will focus on how expenses and wait times can be reduced, and how the proposed nurse staffing mandate law to be voted on in this year's state election might affect local hospitals.

Guest speakers include Christine Klucznik, chief nursing officer at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Eileen McAnneny, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and Michael Sroczynski, vice president of government advocacy for the Massachusetts Association of Hospitals.

Reservations are $20 for members of the three chambers ($25 at the door), $25 for general admission ($30 at door) and include breakfast.

They can be made online at www.springfieldregionalchamber.com or by emailing events@springfieldregionalchamber.com.

VA medical center opens new tomography suite

A recently renovated $2.6 tomography suite has opened at VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System’s Edward P. Boland main campus in Leeds. 

The suite is intended to improve care for patients visiting the radiology department.

“We see about 60 veterans per day in all of radiology, and with this new scanner we will see a decrease in wait times — and an increase in our volume,” said Linda King, radiology’s supervisor. 

Above the new CT scan and over a bed where patients sometimes have to remain still for long periods of time, there is an illuminated mural, according to a press release.

Further improvements are in the works at the medical center, including renovating X-ray rooms, and purchasing new equipment.

VA Central Western Massachusetts covers more than 100 miles, with eight care sites including Pittsfield, Fitchburg, Worcester, Springfield, Greenfield and the main campus in Leeds.

“Last fiscal year we invested $12 million — and this year we’ve already surpassed that mark,” for improvments, said Andrew McMahon, medical system associate director. Ongoing work includes renovations to radiology, audiology, occupational therapy/physical therapy, construction on several buildings, and broad infrastructure work on the WWI-era main campus.

Blood donationopportunities

As summer winds down, the American Red Cross urges individuals to give blood and platelets to help end an emergency summer blood shortage that began last month.

A critical need remains as many regular donors delay giving to take final summer vacations and prepare for school to start. To ensure lifesaving treatments remain available for patients in the coming weeks, donations are needed now, especially type O according to the Red Cross..

Make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS. Those who donated blood earlier this summer may be eligible to give again. Blood can be safely given every 56 days, and Power Red donations can be given every 16 weeks.

Tuesday, noon to 5 p.m., Cooley Dickinson Hospital, 30 Locust St., Northampton

Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Belchertown Police Bus, 70 State Road, Belchertown

Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., University of Massachusetts Amherst Student Union, 41 Campus Center Way, Amherst

Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Linda Manor, 349 Haydenville Road, Leeds

Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Hampshire Mall, 367 Russell St., Hadley