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California Nurses Association Cheers Eden District Board for Courage to Overturn Sutter Decision

Press Release Press Release, 2/28/10

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San Leandro Hospital May be Saved as Board Moves to Sue Sutter over Conflicted Agreement

Malinda Markowitz, RN, co-President of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee issued the following statement in the wake of this week’s vote by the Eden Township District Health Board to sue Sutter Health over conflicts of interest and cancel the Memorandum of Understanding that is the basis of Sutter’s attempts to close down San Leandro Hospital.

“Nurses throughout the Bay Area cheered when we heard the news that the Eden District Board is suing to cancel its memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Sutter Health.  Finally the skies are clearing above San Leandro Hospital, and we have hope to save the facility. 

“I want to give special honors to Carole Rogers, RN, the sole nurse on the Eden District Board.  Her commitment to this effort shows the power of nurses in action.  Carole rang the alarm bell for the community and helped lead hundreds of San Leandro residents to march, rally, phonebank and advocate for their hospital.  Now she has led the board to overturn this unfair, and unlawful, agreement with Sutter Health.  Her commitment to this effort is paying off.

“I have great faith that the Board will win this suit and cancel the MOU that Sutter is attempting to use to shut down San Leandro Hospital.  There can be no doubt that board directors who voted for the agreement had conflicts of interest—certainly meeting the legal standard of being ‘in a position to render actual or potential pecuniary benefits directly or indirectly.’  One director who supported the MOU was actually the medical director of Sutter’s Eden Medical Center (of which San Leandro Hospital is a part), while another had millions of dollars of contracts with Sutter.  Public boards need to put the interest of the public first, and this MOU certainly does not.”

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