New Safety Protocol

  • All bags/belongings entering the Emergency Department will be searched.  It is suggested that patients only bring necessary items (e.g. Keys, ID, Phones)
  • All Patients entering the Emergency Departments will be Screened via a security wand
  • Patients entering the ED Treatment area will be provided a gown
  • Visitation Update - One visitor per patient (children may have both parents).  Visitors will be subject to wanding and are asked not to bring any belongings into the ED with them.  If they choose to bring in bags they will be subject to a search.
  • At this time, all protocols are not currently in effect at Athol Hospital. Full implementation is planned to begin in the coming days.

Click here for more information.


June 13, 2023

June 13, 2023 9:00 AM
Gardner, MA

On June 12, 2023, at approximately 8:00 PM, officers from the Gardner Police Department responded to the Heywood Hospital Emergency Department for a reported stabbing. The victim is a member of the nursing staff at the hospital. The victim was transported to UMASS in Worcester for treatment. The suspect, David Nichols, 76, of 88 Laurel Drive, apt. 2, Greenville, New Hampshire, was arrested at the scene. Nichols was charged with the following: 
Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon
Attempt to commit a crime (murder)

Nichols was held on $10,000 cash bail and will be arraigned later today in the Gardner District Court. The safety of our staff and patients is our utmost priority. Violence against caregivers is not acceptable. We are partnering with our local Police Departments to enhance physical security in the Emergency Department. In addition to the adoption of a zero-tolerance policy, expanded screening protocols are being assessed to ensure the safety of our caregivers and patients.

“The Heywood staff are second to none. Last night they demonstrated teamwork, compassion, cohesiveness and dedication to each other and to our community. Our primary responsibility as leaders is to take care of our staff, and we do not take this responsibility lightly.” - stated- Rozanna Penney, CEO of Heywood Healthcare.