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Berkeley orders Sutter Health’s Alta Bates to file details on community benefits

Berkeley orders Sutter Health’s Alta Bates to file details on community benefits

The Berkeley City Council voted 7-1 Tuesday night to require Sutter Health’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center to provide an annual report to the council with specific detail on the charity care and community benefits reported on tax returns and the value of these benefits to Berkeley residents. The resolution also includes a provision to schedule a council work session on the topic. The council action follows research on the issues by the Community Health Commission, which raised questions about how the information is reported, the myriad of activities that fall under “community benefit” and how well this offsets the nonprofit health system’s tax-exempt status. —Sacramento Business Journal, 07/19/13 More »

THIS WEEK IN AMERICA: July 19, 2013

THIS WEEK IN AMERICA: July 19, 2013

A weekly report by NNU on the pulse of Almeria: A culture of greed. Flooded in Profits. Doubly Whammy: Mega-Exec Pay = Mega-Write Offs. Detroit In Ruins. —National Nurses United, 07/19/13 More »

How Climate Change is Fueling a Rise in Deadly Diseases

How Climate Change is Fueling a Rise in Deadly Diseases

In the summer of 2012, the mosquito-borne West Nile virus made a surprising comeback in America. In Dallas, the most affected region, 400 people contracted the disease and 19 of them died. That came as a shock to public health officials, since West Nile virus was thought to be in such precipitous decline that it was practically eradicated. —Nation of Change, 07/18/13 More »

Berkeley council wants Alta Bates charity care numbers

Berkeley council wants Alta Bates charity care numbers

BERKELEY -- Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, a nonprofit corporation, is exempt from millions of dollars in property, income and sales taxes. In exchange, the hospital is obligated to provide benefits to the community. But at its July 16 meeting, the City Council expressed frustration at not knowing precisely what those benefits are. How much of the community benefits reported by the hospital goes to charity care, and how much of that is targeted to low-income Berkeley residents, council members asked. "Community benefits can be anything they decide," Dan Johnston, a researcher with the Institute for Health and Socio-Economic Policy, the research arm of the California Nurses Association, told to the council. —Inside Bay Area, 07/18/13 More »

MedStar must negotiate big benefits changes with nurses union, judge rules

MedStar must negotiate big benefits changes with nurses union, judge rules

A federal judge dealt a blow to MedStar Health's goal to provide more in-house medical care for its employees, siding with a labor union that objected to hikes to workers' out-of-pocket expenses when they seek treatment elsewhere. —Washington Business Journal, 07/16/13 More »

Air pollution linked to higher risk of lung cancer and heart failure

Air pollution linked to higher risk of lung cancer and heart failure

Two studies show effects on health of long- and short-term exposure to pollutants from traffic and industry. Air pollution, chiefly from traffic exhaust fumes in cities, is having a serious and sometimes fatal effect on health, according to two studies that link it to lung cancer and heart failure. —The Guardian, 07/16/13 More »

Digital Health Records’ Risks Emerge as Deaths Blamed on Systems

Digital Health Records’ Risks Emerge as Deaths Blamed on Systems

Electronic health records are supposed to improve medical care by providing physicians quick and easy access to a patient’s history, prescriptions, lab results and other vital data. While the new computerized systems have decreased some kinds of errors, such as those caused by doctors’ illegible prescriptions, the shift away from paper has also created new problems, with sometimes dire consequences. —Bloomberg.com, 07/12/13 More »

It’s Official, St. Luke’s Hospital Rebuilding Will Begin

It’s Official, St. Luke’s Hospital Rebuilding Will Begin

RNs from the California Nurses Association attended Mayor Ed Lee's signing ceremony approving the plan to rebuild St. Luke’s Hospital and build a new hospital on Cathedral Hill. This victory came after nurses and community members spent years fighting to keep St. Luke's open for medically underserved residents. —California Nurses Association, 07/12/13 More »

THIS WEEK IN AMERICA: July 11, 2013

THIS WEEK IN AMERICA: July 11, 2013

A weekly report by National Nurses United on the pulse of Almeria. The American jobs disaster. Low U.S. Wages Spell Demise. Not Much Equality in New Mexico. Half of poor African-American children live in neighborhoods with concentrated poverty. Golden Parachutes Are Still Very Much in Style. —National Nurses United, 07/11/13 More »

Yacimovich : Restore the National School Health Service

Opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich called on the Health Ministry on Sunday to restore all of the public health nurses that seven years ago were sent to work for private contractors to operate the National School Health Service. More »

Judge orders Affinity to bargain with union

Judge orders Affinity to bargain with union

CANTON—A judge ruled Affinity Medical Center violated federal labor laws and ordered the hospital to bargain with the registered nurses’ union and reinstate a nurse fired for union activity. —IndeOnline.com, 07/02/13 More »

RNs United for the Protection of Healthcare

RNs United for the Protection of Healthcare

On July 2, nurses across America created a Human Chain against the Chained CPI and demanded that there be cuts to Social Security or Medicaid. Medicare should be improved and expanded to all! Nurses gathered to celebrate the independence these programs bring to millions of Americans. —National Nurses United, 07/02/13 More »

Kempsey nurses see red over patient ratios

Kempsey nurses see red over patient ratios

Staff at Kempsey District Hospital marked the start of the new financial year yesterday by wearing red. They joined colleagues from the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association (NSWNWA) in the statewide campaign for fixed nurse-to-patient ratios in rural public hospitals. —The Macleay Argus, 07/02/13 More »

Labor relations board to hear retaliation complaints against Sutter Solano

Labor relations board to hear retaliation complaints against Sutter Solano

The National Labor Relations Board will hold a hearing Sept. 9 on complaints that Sutter Solano Medical Center violated federal law when it imposed higher health care costs on registered nurses and disciplined them in retaliation for their participation in a strike last year. Joseph Frankl, the San Francisco-based regional director of the NLRB, consolidated a series of complaints Wednesday and set the hearing date. —Sacramento Business Journal, 06/28/13 More »

Federal court sanctions BCH-Injunction orders hospital to stop interfering with nurses’ legal rights

Federal court sanctions BCH-Injunction orders hospital to stop interfering with nurses’ legal rights

BARSTOW • A U.S. District Judge in Los Angeles issued a federal injunction against Barstow Community Hospital, ordering it to cease and desist its violations of the collective bargaining rights of its registered nurses, according to a news release from the California Nurses Association on Wednesday. Judge Christina Snyder issued the order in response to a complaint filed by the National Labor Relations Board following charges by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United that Barstow has repeatedly and systematically broken federal law with its refusal to hold contract talks and other abridgments of the RNs’ legal and democratic rights, the release states. —Desert Dispatch, 06/27/13 More »

Canadians Pay Taxes for Universal Health Care, and Now They’re Richer Than Us

Canadians Pay Taxes for Universal Health Care, and Now They’re Richer Than Us

Many conservatives still characterize Medicaid as “welfare,” and many think of it as such. Presumably other types of health care coverage have been “earned” (think veterans and the military, highly paid executives, union members and congressional staff). We resent our tax dollars going to “freeloaders.” Until the slicing and dicing is ended, the finger pointing, blame shifting and their attendant political wars will continue. —Portside.org, 06/25/13 More »

Nobel Laureates Call on President Obama and Secretary Kerry to Reject the Keystone XL Pipeline

Nobel Laureates Call on President Obama and Secretary Kerry to Reject the Keystone XL Pipeline

When 10 Nobel Laureates call on President Obama to reject once and for all the Keystone XL oil pipeline, perhaps it's time he do that. Ten recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize have written to President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry urging the rejection of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline. The Laureates, many of whom urged the President to reject the pipeline in 2011, believe that now is the time for leadership by the United States on climate change. The rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline is a critical step in limiting the expansion of the Canadian oil sands - Canada's fastest growing source of greenhouse gas pollution. The oil sands also have devastating impacts on local land, water, air, and communities. —Portside, 06/21/13 More »

Hundreds of protesters make their way across the Golden Gate Bridge on Thursday

Hundreds of protesters make their way across the Golden Gate Bridge on Thursday

SAN FRANCISCO -- Calling a proposed oil pipeline across the nation's midsection a threat to public health in California, more than 1,000 nurses streamed across the Golden Gate Bridge on Thursday to urge that President Obama block its construction. It might not have seemed like an obvious target for nurses who had gathered for a convention in San Francisco, but the protesters - clad in red scrubs - said the connection between health problems and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline was real. The proposed 1,700-mile-long pipeline, which would carry oil from the tar sands oil fields in Canada to refineries in Texas, is a public health risk to all, even those a thousand miles away in San Francisco, said members of the group National Nurses United. —San Francisco Chronicle, 06/20/13 More »

Nurses Join Keystone XL Protest In California As New Report Warns Of Pipeline Health Risks

Nurses Join Keystone XL Protest In California As New Report Warns Of Pipeline Health Risks

As both a mom and a nurse, Katy Roemer worries about the health risks posed by the Keystone XL pipeline -- from the chemicals leaching into waterways where the tar sands oil is extracted, to toxins spewing from stacks where the resource is refined. "We are already seeing people in our communities facing record levels of asthma and other impacts from pollution," said Roemer, who works at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, Calif., and lives near refineries already processing the heavy, molasses-like Canadian oil. "The pipeline has the potential to exacerbate those impacts, and the impacts of global warming," she added. —Huffington Post, 06/20/13 More »

California governor urges nurses to use union power to raise awareness of climate change

California governor urges nurses to use union power to raise awareness of climate change

SAN FRANCISCO — Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday challenged his allies in the nation's largest nurses union to look beyond their own immediate concerns and help organize a movement to address global climate change. The Democratic governor enjoyed an enthusiastic reception from a packed room of nurses wearing red shirts at the National Nurses United conference in San Francisco. The union was a strong supporter of Brown in his 2010 gubernatorial race and helped him win voter support for his initiative raising the state's sales and income taxes last year. "You're a hell of a lot more radical, and forward and progressive than I am," the governor said. "I can't push you. You got to push me, but together we'll push our country to a much better place." —Associated Press, 06/20/13 More »

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