Press Release

Antelope Valley RNs Sound Alarm over Harm to Community from Economy, Health Cuts

For Immediate Release
June 21, 2011

Wednesday, Noon Nurse Protest: Nurse Rallies to Heal America in San Diego, Ventura, Northern Los Angeles Counties Coincide with National Wall Street Protest

Antelope Valley Hospital RNs represented by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United are identifying broad declines in health tied to economic hardship and obstacles to healthcare coverage.

Health conditions local nurses identified as linked to the current prolonged economic decline include stress-induced heart ailments in younger people and increasingly found in children due to high fat diets linked to low incomes; a range of gastrointestinal disorders, such as colitis; increased obesity linked to poverty; mental illnesses, including anxiety disorders, in youth populations; and higher asthma rates. There have been reports of deaths as a result of treatment delays tied to poverty or insurance obstacles.

“In the neonatal intensive care unit where I work, I see young moms coming in with more pre-existing conditions such as untreated diabetes, hypertension, and mental illness due to lack of healthcare coverage,” said Melanie Dundes, an Antelope Valley Hospital RN. “These conditions lead to preventable complications in their newborn infants and longer hospital stays.”
Los Angeles County Health department’s recommended budget has $312.7 million dollars in healthcare cuts which will exacerbate the deterioration of health for the L.A. county population. The cuts include a $14.7 million decrease in mental health services and a $14.3 million decrease in public health services. The economy has taken its toll on the county, reflected in its high foreclosure rate of 1 out of every 279 properties. (Note: To be in the high category, a county must have a rate higher than one in 700 properties).

What: Antelope Valley RNs Protest Healthcare Cuts

When: Wednesday, June 22, 2011, 12 noon - 1 pm

Where: Corner of W. Rancho Vista Blvd and 10th St West (by the mall), Lancaster

The Southern California protests coincide with an action in New York City Wednesday by NNU nurses calling for a redirection of priorities to heal America with revenue generated from a fair taxation system.

A sales tax on the buying and selling of stocks, bonds, derivatives, credit default swaps, and other financial machinations that are currently untaxed and have put so many families in peril could raise hundreds of billions of dollars.

The nurses’ campaign to raise the standards for the nation’s working families, the Main Street Contract for the American People, was kicked off by Wednesday’s Wall Street action.

About the Main Street Contract for the American People:

With the erosion of living standards for many, and new attacks almost daily from Wall Street-funded politicians, all Americans need a new contract, a binding relationship for their security, for their families, and for future generations.

  • Jobs at living wages to reinvest in America.
  • Equal access to quality, public education.
  • Guaranteed healthcare with a single standard of care.
  • A secure retirement with the ability to retire in dignity.
  • Good housing, and protection from hunger.
  • A safe and healthy environment.
  • A just taxation system where corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share.

The Wall Street action is part of an International Day of Action called by European unions, which is part of a worldwide campaign to make the corporate finance thieves pay to rebuild the global economy.  Other nations are, once again, ahead of us. The United Kingdom  already has what is called a Financial Transaction Tax, and the proposal was endorsed this week by the French National Assembly and the Brazilian Congress.

The protests this week are intended to press all the European Union member nations to adopt the fee.