Registered nurses who work in five Daughters of Charity hospitals across California held a Sacramento press conference Wednesday urging Attorney General Kamala Harris to approve the sale of the hospitals to a buyer that has pledged to stop the threatened closure of the hospitals and preserve critical healthcare services.
The RNs, members of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United, represent 1,800 RNs who work at the hospitals in the San Jose and Los Angeles regions.
The California Nurses Association recently issued an impact report on the essential health services that will be lost if the hospitals are allowed to go under. The Attorney General must act in the public interest, nurses say, and allow Prime Healthcare to move forward with its offer to purchase the Daughters of Charity Hospitals which include: O’Connor Hospital in San Jose, Saint Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy, Seton Medical Center in Daly City, and St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles.
“Prime Healthcare signed an agreement that guarantees that these hospitals will continue to provide vital health services to the communities surrounding them, while no other buyer has stepped forward and offered any commitments whatsoever” said Maribel Licardo, RN, O’Connor Hospital in San Jose.
“Those who oppose the sale are playing a dangerous game with our patients and our communities that could be steering the hospitals towards bankruptcy and closure. As nurses we will do whatever we can to prevent this from happening, in order to protect public access to healthcare and emergency services” said CNA Co-President Zenei Cortez, RN.
In October, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United reached an agreement with Prime that includes a pledge to keep all of the hospitals open for at least five years. Under the agreement, Prime also promised it has no intention of reducing patient services or taking actions that would put the services at risk, as well as respecting collective bargaining rights, jobs, pension rights and existing labor standards at the hospitals covered by the pact.
Another potential buyer, Blue Wolf Capital, a Wall Street private equity firm, has refused to commit to keeping the hospitals open, protecting patient services, or honoring employee contracts or existing labor standards.
CNA members have held rallies with local community leaders and patients demanding that the hospitals be maintained and kept open for their patients.
“We call on the Attorney General and elected officials to support the sale of Daughters of Charity Hospitals to Prime Healthcare” said Cortez, RN. “Their support will pave the way to a smooth transition and the survival of the hospitals”
Daughters of Charity Hospitals are operated as non-profit entities, and their purchase by a new operator requires the Attorney General’s approval. In the new year, from Jan. 5-9, the Attorney General will hold five public hearings in each of the communities served by one of the Daughters of Charity Hospitals. Nurses will testify and share findings from the impact report that will be released on Wednesday at the hearings located in Los Angeles, Lynwood, San Jose, Gilroy, Moss Beach, and Daly City, Ca. We are urging all community members, patient advocates, and allies to attend these hearings and speak out on behalf of keeping these hospitals open at existing capacity via sale to Prime Healthcare:
- Saint Francis Medical Center on January 5, 2015, beginning at 10:00 a.m., at Bateman Hall Auditorium, 11331 Ernestine Ave., Lynwood, CA 90262.
- Saint Vincent Medical Center on January 6, 2015, beginning at 10:00 a.m., at Seton Hall Auditorium, 262 South Lake Street, Los Angeles, CA 90057.
- O’Connor Hospital on January 7, 2014, beginning at 10:00 a.m., at O’Connor Hospital Medical Office Building, 2101 Forest Ave., San Jose, CA 95128.
- Saint Louise Regional Hospital on January 8, 2015, beginning at 10:00 a.m., at Gilroy City Hall, Council Chambers, 7351 Rosanna St., Gilroy, CA 95020.
- Seton Medical Center Coastside on January 9, 2015, beginning at 9:00 a.m., at Seton Medical Center-Coastside, 600 Marine Blvd., Moss Beach, CA 94038
Read the Impact Report detailing how closure of daughters of charity hospitals would dramatically reduce patient access to essential healthcare services