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Surgical Services Suspended

April 21, 2023

Surgical Services Suspended 

ATHOL, MA (April 21, 2023) – Endoscopy procedures in the two operating rooms on the Athol campus were suspended due to HVAC issues identified during the routine morning equipment and environment assessment. There have been intermittent challenges with the Athol Surgical suite’s ventilation that have been addressed over the years. Until more information is available regarding a permanent solution and the necessary resources to properly address this situation, a timeline for the resumption of services can not be determined. All patients will be contacted to reschedule their procedures at the Heywood campus where GI services will continue to be provided by Dr. Phani Molakatalla, Dr. Brett Ancowitz, and Dr. Thomas Dunzendorfer. 

“The safety of our patients and staff is always our utmost priority. We will only resume the procedures on the Athol campus when it is appropriate to do so,” stated Dr. Phani Molakatalla, Gastroenterologist. 

About Heywood Healthcare 

Heywood Healthcare is an independent community healthcare system serving north central Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. It is comprised of Heywood Hospital, a 134-bed acute care community-owned non-profit hospital in Gardner, MA; Athol Hospital, a 25-bed not-for-profit, Critical Access Hospital in Athol, MA; Heywood Medical Group, with primary care physicians and specialists located throughout the region; and The Quabbin Retreat, a premier destination for addiction treatment and mental health. 

Heywood Medical Group includes multiple satellite facilities throughout the region: Ashburnham Family Medicine, Heywood Rehabilitation Center, Summit Family Medicine, Main Street Primary Care & Heywood Urgent Care in Gardner, the Winchendon Health Center & Murdock School-based Health Center in Winchendon, Athol Primary Care, Tully Family Medicine and Walk-In Care in Athol, and ACES School Based Health Center, in Athol. For more information, visit