Baystate Wins Approval for Three Determination-of-need Requests
BOSTON — The Mass. Public Health Council approved three determination-of-need (DON) requests to support Baystate Health’s efforts to modernize its facilities and improve access to, and quality and value of, healthcare for patients in Western Mass. The approved requests relate to the transfer of ownership of Wing Memorial Hospital and Medical Centers to Baystate Health from UMass Memorial Health Care of Worcester; construction of new operating rooms at Baystate Franklin Medical Center to replace aging facilities; and construction of a new inpatient pharmacy in shell space in the MassMutual Wing at Baystate Medical Center. “We’re very pleased to receive the approval of the Public Health Council for three initiatives that we expect to have a major positive impact on quality, access, and affordability of healthcare in Western Mass., and on our ability to continue to provide outstanding, high-value care for our patients close to where they live,” said Dr. Mark Keroack, president and CEO of Baystate Health. With the council’s approval in place, the transfer of ownership of Wing, announced prospectively in December 2013, is now expected to be complete in September. Wing will become an affiliate of Baystate Health, and its approximately 800 employees will join Baystate. Baystate officials expect that Wing’s proximity to Baystate’s Western Mass. network will mean improved access to doctors, cost savings, better coordination of care, and better alignment with local public-health efforts for patients in the Palmer/Quaboag region. Wing and Baystate Mary Lane Hospital in Ware will operate in close coordination with each other and with other local healthcare providers, and patients’ current options for choosing providers will not be affected. The Surgery Modernization Project at Baystate Franklin Medical Center (BFMC) in Greenfield addresses a need for contemporary facilities to replace the current ORs built in 1974, which will be renovated to relocate endoscopy services. The project, expected to begin this fall, will allow Franklin County and North Quabbin area residents to receive more healthcare services close to home, while also aiding in Baystate’s efforts to recruit additional physicians to the region. Moving the inpatient pharmacy at Baystate Medical Center (BMC) enables pharmacists to meet patients’ growing needs in a state-of-the-art, safe, and secure facility in the newest wing of the Springfield teaching and research hospital. The BFMC and BMC projects come with new community-benefit contributions from Baystate Health. BFMC’s Surgery Modernization Project will generate $228,921 per year for five years for community health-improvement projects in the Franklin County/North Quabbin region. The pharmacy at BMC comes with a community-benefit contribution of $342,146, which brings the total community benefit under the entire determination of need for the expansion of Baystate Medical Center to $13,144,765. Baystate’s Health’s community-benefit work at all of its hospitals is conducted in partnership with a wide array of community stakeholders to achieve the most inclusive process and effective outcomes possible.
Freedom Credit Union Announces $2.2 Million Springfield Expansion
SPRINGFIELD — Freedom Credit Union (FCU) President and CEO Barry Crosby announced a $2.2 million expansion of the company’s Springfield headquarters on Tuesday. Freedom will expand its facilities at 1976 Main St. to a building at 77 Boylston St., directly behind Freedom. Crosby said the company plans to relocate 26 Springfield employees to that location, along with 16 employees from Feeding Hills, and hire an additional 13 employees to staff the new building. FCU has had a presence in downtown Springfield since 1922, when it was known as the Western Massachusetts Telephone Workers Credit Union. Renovations of the Bolyston Street property, most recently home to Hampden County Physician Associates, are expected to be completed next January or February.
United Financial Shareholders Approve Executive Compensation
GLASTONBURY — United Financial Bancorp Inc., the holding company for United Bank, announced that an overwhelming majority of its shareholders voted in favor of key proposals presented at its 2014 annual meeting held on Aug. 5, including the executive compensation plan and the re-election of three key United Financial Board members. The proposal to ratify its executive-compensation plan, or say-on-pay, received 93% of the vote by shareholders. The company’s executive-compensation plan is market-based, tied to performance and aligned with shareholders’ interests. They also voted overwhelmingly (94%) to re-elect three members of the board of directors to four-year terms: William Crawford IV, CEO of United Financial Bancorp Inc. and United Bank; Michael Crowley; and Raymond Lefurge Jr., vice chairman of the board. Since the proposals required only 50% of shares outstanding to vote in favor of the proposals to pass, both vote counts underscored the tremendous support shareholders have in the company, its leadership team, and bank employees. In addition to executive compensation and re-election of board members, a proposal to approve the appointment of Wolf & Co., P.C. as United’s independent auditor received 98% shareholder approval.
Gleason Johndrow Landscaping Makes Top 100 List for Snow Removal
NORTHAMPTON — Gleason Johndrow Landscaping, a Northampton-based snow-removal and landscaping contractor, has landed a spot among the top 100 snow-removal contractors nationwide as determined by SNOW magazine, an industry publication that bestows this honor every summer based on the previous year’s revenues. Mike Zawacki, editor of SNOW, views the list as “a reflection of those contractors’ operational excellence.” “We’re thrilled to be included,” said Tony Gleason, a partner in Gleason Johndrow. “We pride ourselves each and every year on logistical process and customer satisfaction. We’re very honored and grateful to be numbered among the best contractors in the country by our peers.” SNOW has been compiling this list (to be released in an article in September’s issue) for the past 10 years and focuses on revenues and operations for contractors submitting their yearly revenues. “It’s a pleasure to see contractors on this list keep growing. It’s a testament to their continued focus on improving their operation every year,” said Zawacki, adding that “2013 was a good year for snow. It was tougher to get on this list this year because so many contractors had a great year.” Gleason and Dave Johndrow have been providing landscaping and snow-removal services since 2002, with commercial and residential clients throughout Western Mass. and Northern Conn.