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Fight continues over North Adams hospital

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Two buses of former North Adams Regional Hospital workers and community leaders will leave the city Tuesday morning to deliver a petition to the governor and legislature. The group is asking the state to provide funding and work to quickly reopen the hospital after its owner closed the doors and declared bankruptcy last month.

Former workers estimate more than 12,000 people have signed the petition online or in-person.

Ive been busier now than when I worked. Every day I've been doing something job related about the hospital, said former nurse Angie Lingner.

On Monday, Berkshire Medical Center announced it received the necessary state licenses to open a satellite emergency facility in the area, but was still waiting on federal permits. BMC Spokesman Michael Leary said in an emailed statement the states congressional delegation is working to streamline the process. He declined to say whether the facility will use the former NARH campus.

So far, BMC said it has hired 143 former NARH and Northern Berkshire Health employees.  

Employees hope by bringing the petitions to Boston they will convince the state to provide funding and further the push for a full hospital in the city.

They said there was money available, but I haven't seen any of that, so I don't know when that's going to come into play, said Lingner. We are way up here in the western part of Massachusetts, thats why we're all getting on the bus to Boston so they will see us. They'll remember us that we are out here.