Parents, nurses discuss Kaiser Hayward pediatric ward closing
HAYWARD, Calif. (KGO) -- Friday night in Hayward, parents had the chance to make themselves heard on an issue they believe will hurt their families. Kaiser Permanente is under fire for closing a pediatric ward in Hayward in a month from now.
Chloe Green is pretty good at connecting the dots in her coloring book, but when she was just days old, she had to spend some extra time at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Hayward. Her dad says having a local hospital helped a lot.
"Being with our neighbors, our family, close to our home, took a traumatic situation for our family, but made it somewhat more manageable," said David Green, Chloe's dad.
Kaiser has been planning to shut down this hospital and move to a brand new one in San Leandro next summer. During a town hall meeting, nurses raised concerns to parents after learning that pediatrics will be shut down there in a month.
"We thought that we would be dealing with this about a year down the road, it would give us time to alert the public of the dangers," said nurse Robert Marth.
For some parents the news is a shock.
"I'm speechless right now to even think that there's going to be nothing, except in Santa Clara, and all the way in Oakland, and then if they're full all the way to Roseville?" said Carolyn Lunger, a parent.
When the pediatrics department closes in Hayward on November 17th, children to who need to be admitted will be sent to Kaiser in Oakland. A vice president at Kaiser Permanente says they're shutting down the pediatric center in Hayward in about a month so they can transition their whole medical team up to Oakland so they can be trained together as a team and be ready for their new facility to open next summer. Kaiser promises a bigger, better children's department with specialized care.
"Studies show that children do better in facilities and centers that are specifically designed for them," said Tom Hanenburg, the vice president of Kaiser Permanente.
Hanenburg says that most pediatric care is provided at doctor's offices and those aren't moving.
By Sergio Quintana