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Berkshire Health Systems Partners with Ob/Gyn Practices

PITTSFIELD — In a move that will help to ensure long-term obstetric and gynecologic services throughout the region, Berkshire Health Systems (BHS) has announced that three key ob/gyn physician practices have joined together and formed Berkshire Ob/Gyn of BMC, which solidifies and stabilizes critical women’s health services for the community.

The three practices joining under the Berkshire Health Systems Physician Practice Group are Berkshire Ob/Gyn Associates, located in Pittsfield and Lenox, and Northern Berkshire Ob/Gyn and Gyn Services of the Berkshires, located in Adams. This investment in ob/gyn stabilizes these essential physician services and supports consistent and reliable access to care.

The partnership was partially precipitated by the 2014 closure of the former North Adams Regional Hospital (NARH) and the community need to provide ongoing maternal-child healthcare for residents of North Berkshire. A former NARH physician practice, Northern Berkshire Ob/Gyn was able to continue to provide care without interruption of service when Berkshire Health Systems assumed responsibility for the practice, and Berkshire Ob/Gyn provided coverage for the North Berkshire physicians and their patients.

Growing changes in healthcare policy and in the health insurance reimbursement system have challenged the viability of private physician practices, which was a major factor in prompting Berkshire Ob/GYn to join together with the two BHS practices to form one unified service under BHS. At the same time, healthcare systems like BHS are increasingly relied upon to ensure current and future access to critical services for the community by investing in physician practices and ensuring they have the necessary support systems and financial stability and investment to succeed in the long term.

Working together, the physicians of Berkshire Ob/Gyn of BMC can provide 24/7 coverage for maternity and routine, surgical, and emergency gynecological care throughout the region.
Berkshire Ob/Gyn of BMC includes Drs. Andrew Beckwith, Daniel Barraez-Masroua, Robert Benner, Herbert Kantor, Joan Lister, Charles O’Neill, Cassandra Service, Michael Shreefter, Lauren Slater, and Susan Yates. In addition, the practice features the expertise of three certified nurse midwives: Robin Rivinus, Lydia Kelly, and Evelyn Resh. The practice will continue to provide services throughout Central and Northern Berkshire County, with offices in Pittsfield, Lenox, and Adams. O’Neill and Yates will primarily work out of the Adams office, but will also provide services in Central Berkshire County. Lister will provide urgent-care gynecological services.

“The strength of this combined physician practice will allow us to continue to provide comprehensive ob/gyn and women’s-health services for all who need this care in the Berkshires,” Beckwith said. “Healthcare has become increasingly complex, and private physician practices are faced with significant challenges that threaten their long-term viability. By becoming part of Berkshire Health Systems, we have preserved these practices, and, as one unified provider, we can assure access to our patients to the best physician and healthcare services possible.”

Added David Phelps, president and CEO of Berkshire Health Systems, “with the precarious state of the health-insurance reimbursement system, BHS has taken on an increasing role in helping to stabilize physician practices in order to guarantee continued access to these essential services, and that they are able to care for our community’s healthcare needs now and in the future. The integration of these three practices into one comprehensive service will provide the foundation for that continued access to high-quality care for the women of the Berkshires.”

Berkshire Ob/Gyn of BMC is accepting new patients and can be reached in Pittsfield at (413) 499-8570 or in Adams at (413) 664-4343.

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