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Marin General nurses petition administration to address patient care concerns

Marin General nurses petition administration to address patient care concerns

Nurses at Marin General Hospital are demanding action to resolve what they say are potentially dangerous patient care issues at the county's largest hospital. Ten nurses voiced their concerns at Tuesday night's meeting of the Marin Healthcare District board. The district board oversees Marin General; but a separate board deals with the hospital's day-to-day operations. Ninety nurses have signed a petition calling on the hospital to respond to a detailed list of issues affecting patient care. The nurses say many of the problems stem from inadequate staffing and continued difficulties utilizing the hospital's new computerized physician order entry system. —Marin Independent Journal, 03/12/14 More »

Understaffing, Failure to Provide Adequate Care

Understaffing, Failure to Provide Adequate Care

SAFE STAFFING VERDICT: Arlene Townsend, 63 suffered a stroke and required 24-hour care. She was admitted to Auburndale Oaks Healthcare Center, a nursing home owned by Trans Healthcare, Inc. In the three years leading up to her death, Townsend suffered numerous fall resulting in broken bones and lacerations, infections, significant weight loss, chronic constipation, skin breakdowns, dehydration, and other problems. —Trial Magazine, 03/11/14 More »

The Truth About Tar Sands

The Truth About Tar Sands

I recently had the pleasure of attending one of the most important press briefings that has happened in a long time: Senator Barbara Boxer-Keystone Pipeline and the Threat to Human Health. The briefing took place at the Dirksen Senate Building and featured Senator Boxer (D-CA), Senator Whitehouse (D-RI), health experts, and community leaders dealing with this issue firsthand from around the country and Canada. The main message of this briefing was that people need to know the truth about tar sands and its effects on people’s health. —Denée Reaves’s Blog, 02/28/14 More »

District One Hospital holds community meetings to discuss Allina deal in Faribault

District One Hospital holds community meetings to discuss Allina deal in Faribault

Nearly 50 people gathered at Faribault City Hall Wednesday night to learn more about District One Hospital's pending merger with Allina Health. During his presentation, Pribyl reviewed District One's dismal financial status while also showcasing how the hospital is trying to turn itself around by slashing the budget, improving technology and, most notably, merging with Allina. Wednesday's meeting was the second forum held with the public. Pribyl and members of the hospital's Board of Directors also hosted a meeting with Rice County elected officials and have gone to service club meetings like Rotary Club and the Knights of Columbus to discuss the same topics. —Faribault Daily News, 02/21/14 More »

Profits Over Patients

Profits Over Patients

Much is wrong with the process of pricing and providing health care in America. The National Nurses United, the largest nurses organization, recently released a study that shows the top 100 most expensive U.S. Hospitals have a charge-to-cost ratio of 765 percent and higher. The worst offender in Ohio is right here in Summit County – Summa Barberton at a mind-numbing 654 percent. It is followed in fourth place by Summa Western Reserve at a whopping 577 percent. What has become obvious is the health-care establishment here and across the country is more concerned with profits than patients. —OpEd in the Akron Beacon Journal Online, 02/21/14 More »

Labor Leaders React to Volkswagen Loss; Some Express Frustration with Democrats

Labor Leaders React to Volkswagen Loss; Some Express Frustration with Democrats

National Nurses United executive director RoseAann DeMoro, whose union has organized 7,000 nurses in southern states like Texas and Florida in the past three years, asked why Democratic politicians did not forcefully challenge Corker, who threatened that unionization would destroy jobs, and the right. “Why aren’t Democrats 100 percent for labor?” she asked. “Where are our allies? Who’s standing with us visibly, forcibly? Democrats know the value of organized labor. They might say it sometime.” —In These Times, 02/21/14 More »

AFL-CIO’s Trumka: Keep VW Union Vote In Perspective

AFL-CIO’s Trumka: Keep VW Union Vote In Perspective

Workers at the Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga, Tenn., last week narrowly rejected joining the United Auto Workers. That was a setback for labor which was looking for an organizing victory in a southern state. The AFL-CIO is holding its winter meetings this week in Houston. The movement says its efforts to organize across the South continue despite the high profile defeat at the VW plant. RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United, tells of sizable organizing gains her union has made in the South over the last few years. —NPR, 02/19/14 More »

Unions Say No Retreat in South After VW Defeat

Unions Say No Retreat in South After VW Defeat

RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of the National Nurses United, said her union has organized 7,000 nurses over the past three years in Florida and Texas combined. The frustrations that drove those nurses to organize are no different than gripes that nurses in California had before they joined the union, Ms. DeMoro said. “Nurses are angry everywhere,” she said, calling claims of regional divides “artificial.” The union is currently trying to organize 4,000 nurses in Orlando who work for one of the state’s largest not-for-profit hospital systems, she said, and added that they are receptive. —The Wall Street Journal: Washington Wire, 02/19/14 More »

Bill Nighy and Andrew Lincoln star in video supporting Robin Hood tax

Bill Nighy and Andrew Lincoln star in video supporting Robin Hood tax

David Yates, director of the Harry Potter movies, has enlisted actors Bill Nighy, Clémence Poésy and The Walking Dead's Andrew Lincoln for a short satirical video calling for a Europe-wide banking transaction tax. Known as the Robin Hood tax, the film coincides with a meeting of European finance ministers this week to discuss the introduction of the tax, which could help ease poverty in developing countries to the tune of £20 billion. —The Independent, 02/18/14 More »

New York Hospitals Set to Move Dialysis Care to Private Chain, Despite Track Record

New York Hospitals Set to Move Dialysis Care to Private Chain, Despite Track Record

Now New York State’s Public Health and Health Planning Council is set to vote Thursday on a deal to turn over dialysis at four of the city’s public hospitals to a for-profit franchise called Big Apple Dialysis despite government data showing the company’s centers did not perform as well as the hospitals themselves. —The New York Times, 02/12/14 More »

Nurses union’s conflict with Community Health Systems heats up

Nurses union’s conflict with Community Health Systems heats up

The 185,000-member National Nurses United labor union last month claimed that management at two California hospitals owned by Franklin-based Community Health Systems wrongfully terminated nurses who also were union members and had been outspoken on labor issues. —Tennessean, 02/10/14 More »

New Report Confirms “Right to Work” Would Harm Missouri’s Middle Class

New Report Confirms “Right to Work” Would Harm Missouri’s Middle Class

Recently, Dr. Michael Kelsay, an economics professor from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, conducted a study in which he examined the economic impact that proposed “Right to Work” laws would have on the state of Missouri. His conclusions confirm that “Right to Work” would have a devastating impact on Missouri’s economy and hurt Missouri’s middle class families. —Protect MO Families, 02/10/14 More »

Nurse Says He Was Fired After Speaking Out Against Hospital Merger

Nurse Says He Was Fired After Speaking Out Against Hospital Merger

The California Nurses Association has filed an unfair labor practice complaint against Watsonville Hospital for firing 36-year veteran nurse Tim Thomas. It alleges Thomas was terminated after criticizing the merger of Watsonville's Hospital's parent company, Community Health Systems, with Health Management Associates at HMA's Florida shareholder meeting in early January. HMA shareholders approved the $7.6 billion acquisition. —The Real News Network, 02/10/14 More »

Joel Hay: What’s wrong with American hospitals?

Joel Hay: What’s wrong with American hospitals?

In 2010, the Medicare program inspector general reported that the death toll from hospital errors had risen to 180,000 annually just in the Medicare program alone. A more recent study found that as many as 440,000 deaths each year result from hospital errors – equivalent to two daily jumbo jet crashes. —Orange County Register, 02/10/14 More »

Obamacare’s Founding CEO Wants To Bring Single Payer To Massachusetts

Obamacare’s Founding CEO Wants To Bring Single Payer To Massachusetts

On his first day as governor of Massachusetts, Donald Berwick promises to set up a commission tasked with finding a way to bring single payer to the Bay State. It'll have report back to him within a year -- ideally sooner. Having run Medicare and Obamacare in Washington for 17 months, he has concluded that the existing hybrid system is too cumbersome and expensive, and that single payer is the right fix. —Talking Points Memo, 02/07/14 More »

Nurses get advice on patient ratios

Nurses get advice on patient ratios

With contract talks for 2,600 nurses in the Capital district health authority breaking down last week, their union has brought in someone with experience in one of the key issues in dispute. —Herald News, 02/07/14 More »

Orlando Health under investigation by national labor board

Orlando Health under investigation by national labor board

ORLANDO, FL—Nurses who have been telling Channel 9 for months that Orlando Health officials have been pulling them away from their patients in an attempt to stop their efforts to form a union said they have also been threatened by their bosses. —wftv.com 9, 02/05/14 More »

New study links fracking to birth defects in heavily drilled Colorado

New study links fracking to birth defects in heavily drilled Colorado

Living near hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — sites may increase the risk of some birth defects by as much as 30 percent, a new study suggests. In the U.S., more than 15 million people now live within a mile of a well. The use of fracking, a gas-extraction process through which sand, water and chemicals are pumped into the ground to release trapped fuel deposits, has increased significantly in the U.S. over the past decade. —Aljazeera America, 01/31/14 More »

Nurse: I Was Fired for Speaking Out

Nurse: I Was Fired for Speaking Out

Nearly a dozen nurses attended a vigil in front of Fallbrook Hospital to support Veronica Poss. Fallbrook Hospital nurse says she was fired as retaliation for participating in union activities. According to the California Nurses Association, Veronica Poss is one of two nurses fired this week by the hospital's owner, Community Health Systems (CHS.) This comes two weeks after she says she spoke out against a merger between CHS and Health Management Associates at a shareholder meeting in Florida. —NBC San Diego, 01/31/14 More »

The Great Pay Debate: 5 Hospital Executive Compensation Trends for 2014

The Great Pay Debate: 5 Hospital Executive Compensation Trends for 2014

In October, Harvard University researchers published a study in JAMA Internal Medicine, which looked at the compensation data of 1,877 CEOs at 2,681 private, nonprofit U.S. hospitals. Data came from the hospitals' 2009 Form 990s. The researchers found nonprofit hospital CEOs had a mean compensation of $595,781 and a median compensation of $404,938. —Becker's Hospital Review, 01/29/14 More »

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