SPRINGFIELD – Vibra Hospital of Western Massachusetts plans to lay off all of its 87 employees by Aug. 15, as its population of 29 long-term patients moves to new quarters.
All are expected to be relocated to Baystate Health’s new Valley Springs Behavioral Health Hospital in Holyoke.
Vibra filed a required Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act notice last week with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development .
The 1400 State St. hospital and its Pennsylvania owners first announced plans to close in 2017, but the date kept getting pushed back, as the state lengthened its contract.
In 2021, Baystate and partner LifePoint Health announced that the new Holyoke facility – then in its planning stages – would expand by 30 private rooms to accommodate patients that Vibra cared for, then and now, under a contract with the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health.
Vibra officials, both in Springfield and Harrisburg, did not return calls seeking comment on the closing.
The Massachusetts Nurses Association represents 15 of the employees losing their jobs at Vibra, said Joe Markman, a union spokesman. He said Monday that Vibra no longer has a contract with the state and the union is working to keep its members working at the hospital with a new vendor.
The real estate has been on the market for nearly two years. In 2022, the 17-acre site was rezoned – at the city’s request – from Residence C to Business A, allowing for commercial development. It is located across State Street from the MassMutual headquarters and next to Roger L. Putnam Vocational Academy.
Built originally in 1930 as Springfield Isolation Hospital for people stricken by tuberculosis, the building was later known as Springfield Municipal Hospital. The use changed starting in the 1940s, after the advent of modern treatments for tuberculosis.
Vibra occupied a 1950s wing of the hospital, while the original Art Deco, Depression-era part of the building was boarded up.
The city sold the property in 1996 to close a budget gap. The hospital is on Springfield Preservation Trust’s annual list of properties endangered by development.