To the Editor:
I am a Westborough resident, operating room nurse at Tufts Medical Center, and proud board member of the Massachusetts Nurses Association. As someone who lives in and serves this community, I am concerned that Mass General Brigham’s (MGB) proposed expansion in Westborough will exacerbate existing health disparities and negatively impact the availability of quality union jobs throughout central Massachusetts.
MGB’s proposed Westborough location is not easily accessible by public transportation. Instead, it is strategically positioned to target higher-income, commercially insured patients. If low-income, publicly insured, or uninsured patients want to obtain services at this location, they would face significant difficulties accessing it.
As the pandemic continues to underscore staffing issues for healthcare providers across the state, I am also concerned about this proposal’s impact on existing high-quality jobs. It is likely that MGB will draw medical professionals away from smaller hospitals, like Marlborough Hospital, that provide critical safety net services to those who need it most. Reduced staffing, along with a disrupted payer mix caused by the loss of commercially insured patients, will be devastating to existing safety net providers in central Massachusetts – putting their financial viability in danger.
MGB’s proposed clinic is not worth its threat to existing community-based healthcare services and high-quality union jobs. To protect vulnerable community members in Westborough and beyond, we must support local safety net care providers by ensuring this unnecessary expansion isn’t approved.
Mary Havlicek Cornacchia