SOUTHINGTON — Members of the Community Committee to Save Bradley rallied this weekend at the Southington Historical Society in an effort to keep Bradley Hospital open.
Committee spokesperson Bonnie Sica said the rally was designed to make sure the public knows that Hartford HealthCare is considering razing the building and replacing it.
“It isn’t until the wrecking ball is here...and everyone will say ‘Oh my God. How did that happen?’ ” Sica said.
Hartford HealthCare officials announced last year that plans under consideration for the Bradley campus included razing the century-old building and replacing it with a health care campus. Hospital group officials said that the old building doesn't lend itself to a cost-effective renovation or the best medical practices. No decisions have been finalized and the future of the campus is still under consideration.
Hartford Healthcare Director of Communications Shawn Mawhiney said Sunday there are still no concrete plans for the hospital’s future at this time.
“As soon as we have a concrete plan we want to share it with our staff and we want to share it with the Town Council,” he said.
On Saturday, about a dozen group members carried signs that read, “Save Bradley” and urged passing drivers to honk their horns in support. After Sica gave a speech about the committee’s mission to save the hospital, the group marched toward the hospital.
Resident John Randall said the hospital holds a special significance for him because it is where his mother died.
“What is really important is that personal touch,” Randall said.
When residents don’t have a local hospital he feels a sense of community is lost.
“Growing up in a community where you have your own hospital is just part of the whole flavor of growing up in this community,” Randall said.
Mawhiney said Hartford Healthcare remains committed to Southington and pointed to the numerous facilities and programs offered in town, including a new program for opioid addiction.
“We’re trying to meet people in their healthcare journey at the right place … and we’re going to continue doing that in Southington,” Mawhiney said.
Sica said she hopes these rallies show there is a lot of support for this keeping the hospital.
“We don’t want to give up our community hospital,” she said.