As you may have heard, Northern Berkshire Health Care recently announced plans to close North Adams Regional Hospital. As news about this continues to break, I’ve been asked about whether SVMC will have the capacity to care for a growing number of patients. The answer is yes.

We have a comprehensive plan in place to handle growth. SVMC has a robust staff of physicians, nurses and health care professionals poised to welcome everyone. We understand that we may have new patients walking through our doors. Rest assured, our staff is ready to help them.

I’ve also been asked if there’s a chance that SVMC might close, as well. The answer is no. We’re a much different hospital today than we were even four or five years ago. Working together with Dartmouth-Hitchcock, we are proud to provide excellent, stable care, even during times of economic uncertainty.

SVMC is doing everything we can to help. We are the closest hospital to North Adams and Williamstown. We have capacity to welcome patients, and we accept most Massachusetts health care plans, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield. For everyone with emergency medical needs, there are no stop lights between Williamstown and our emergency department doors.

Further, all of our emergency physicians are board-certified in emergency medicine. Our Women’s and Children’s services department is already welcoming expecting families. We have a wide offering of specialty care departments ready to make appointments. We are working to expand primary care. Our Deerfield Valley Campus in Wilmington is taking new patients, today.

The Northern Berkshires region remains an integral part of our larger community. Many of you, your loved ones, coworkers, and friends have been affected by this announcement. Remember that SVHC is here, dedicated to help wherever possible.

We’re proud to serve you today, and look forward to continuing to serve you as we approach our second century.

Thomas Dee is president and CEO of Southwestern Vermont Health Care.