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Calais Regional Hospital Employees Host Community Candlelight Vigil to Save Hospital’s Obstetrics

Maine State Nurses' Association Press Release, 6/2/17

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Registered nurses and other Calais Regional Hospital (CRH) employees strongly oppose the recently announced closure of the CRH Obstetrics department, and to draw attention to the move which they say will jeopardize mothers, babies and families in the community—a candlelight vigil will be held on Friday, June 2 at Triangle Park in downtown Calais, Maine.

"We are deeply disturbed that Calais Regional Hospital would treat this critical department as dispensable, which is a disservice to mothers, babies and families," said Maine State Nurses Association (MSNA) President Cokie Giles. "MSNA stands behind all of the CRH employees in the face of this very serious and dangerous decision by the hospital."

Calais Regional Hospital's CEO Rod Boula notified employees that CRH's Tennessee-based management company, Quorum Health Resources, will be closing the CRH Obstetrics (OB) department on January 1, 2018. The goal of the community candlelight vigil is to save CRH’s OB Department and convince the CRH Board of Directors to sever its relationship with Quorum. CRH’s RNs and Medical Technologists are members of the Maine State Nurses Association (MSNA).

What: Community Candlelight Vigil to Save CRH Obstetrics Department
When: Friday, June 2, 2017, 8 p.m.
Where: Triangle Park, Calais, Maine

CRH's service area includes Baileyville, Eastport, Dennysville, Pembroke and the rest of Northeastern Washington County. Melanie Howard, an OB RN, said, "Our community depends on us. How in the world can we force expectant mothers to go far outside of our community for the essential services that we provide?"

While CRH has committed to not laying off any of its staff in this closure, the services now provided by the OB staff will come to an end.

"This hospital spends over $400,000 on an outside management company based in Tennessee that has a history of reducing services to communities in order to extract more money.  Resources should be spent right here, in Washington County on patients that need these services," said Emergency Department RN Beth Ingersoll, Chief Steward of the Calais-area MSNA chapter.

Since 1992, CRH has been managed by Quorum Health Services. Its $400,000 per year fee does not include the salaries of the management personnel it employs.

"We need to save our OB, boot Quorum out of our community and stand up for our patients,” said Ingersoll. “That's what CRH employees and our union are all about."

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