Press Release

Candlelight Vigil for Safe Patient Care Wednesday, Los Angeles

For Immediate Release
July 6, 2011

Good Samaritan Hospital RNs Sound Alarm Over Harm to Community from Rehab and Skilled Nursing Unit Closures

Registered nurses at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles will hold a candlelight vigil Wednesday, July 6, to highlight their concerns with chronic understaffing, nurses unable to safely take a meal break during their 12-hour shifts, and the closures of vital patient care units at the hospital, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United announced today.

Good Samaritan Hospital, announced the closures of its skilled nursing facility (SNF), and acute rehabilitation departments on June 15, to take effect July 16, resulting in the loss of 32 experienced RNs. The SNF houses chronically ill, predominately elderly patients, and provides long-term nursing care and rehabilitation, services not provided on general medical or critical-care units. The acute rehabilitation unit provides care for patients recovering from illnesses, injuries, or procedures that require physical therapy, and health education aimed at restoring major life functions.

“Our patients’ loss is Good Samaritan’s financial gain, and that’s a bad trade,” said Eva Buado, an RN who works in the skilled nursing unit and has worked at the hospital for 19 years. “Good Samaritan has its priorities all wrong. These units make Good Samaritan a full-service hospital – a hospital where you can take your family member and know that they will receive the care they need right on the premises. The result will be patients getting dumped to outside facilities with less rigorous standards and fewer resources, in terms of staffing, equipment, and expertise. Our patients will likely put off seeking treatment, waiting until they are critically ill to seek care.”

What: Good Samaritan Nurses Hold Candlelight Vigil for Safe Care

When: Wednesday, July 6, 6:30 p.m.—8:30 p.m.

Where: Good Samaritan Hospital,  1225 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90017

(On the Witmer Street sidewalks near hospital main entrance, between Wilshire and Sixth Street)

Other  hospitals in the area, such as St. Vincent Medical Center, California Hospital Medical Center, Glendale Memorial Hospital, and UCLA Medical Center have all maintained  full rehabilitation and skilled nursing/transitional care units.

RNs represented by CNA/NNU 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 adult diseases now found in children which include pancreatitis due to high-fat diets linked to low incomes; a range of gastrointestinal disorders, such as colitis; increased obesity, mental illnesses, including anxiety disorders, in youth populations; and higher and more severe asthma rates and increased premature births.

The Good Samaritan protest is a part of a national campaign, the Main Street Contract for the American People to address the erosion of living standards and protections for families and future generations. The Main Street Contract calls for:

  1. Equal access to quality, public education.
  2. Guaranteed healthcare with a single standard of care.
  3. A secure retirement with the ability to retire in dignity.
  4. Good housing and protection from hunger.
  5. A safe and healthy environment.
  6. A just taxation system where corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share.

The 650 RNs who work at Good Samaritan are represented by CNA/NNU, which represents more than 70,000 RNs in California and 170,000 RNs nationwide.