RNs to Hold Vigil at St. Vincent Med Center Thursday
California Nurses Association Press Release, 5/27/14
RNs Call to Keep Full Services Open As Daughters of Charity Chain Seeks Buyer Without Commitment to Community
Registered nurses, joined by local community leaders, are calling on public officials to demand the Daughters of Charity Health System be held to its pledge to protect critical hospital services at St. Vincent Medical Center in downtown Los Angeles and several other facilities.
For more than a year, Daughters of Charity has been actively soliciting a buy-out partner while failing to make any commitments to the communities served by Daughters hospitals that full services will be maintained.
To emphasize their alarm about the potential loss of vital hospital care at St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles, RNs will hold a vigil Thursday night at the hospital. They expect to be joined by representatives of several community groups including the Filipino American Health Workers Association, the Filipino Migrant Center, and Gabriela, a prominent Filipina women’s rights organization.
What: Vigil with St. Vincent Medical Center RNs
When: Thursday, May 29, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: St. Vincent Medical Center, 2131 West Third St., Los Angeles
Many of the six Daughters of Charity hospitals in California, including St. Vincent, serve predominantly low income, medically underserved communities who would be especially harmed by cuts in hospital care and other patient services.
“I’ve worked here for 9 years, and I’ve cared for thousands of members of the local community, including many residents of Koreatown,” says St. Vincent RN Christine Chung. “We care for the workers and the poor, the young and the old, from all cultures. I’ve kept my promise to care for these patients and their families. We’re asking the Daughters to keep their promise – keep this hospital open, keep these nurses serving the community.”
In Los Angeles, the RNs are calling on Mayor Eric Garcetti, and the Los Angeles City Council demand Daughters of Charity CEO Robert Issai honor his commitments and insist that any change in ownership include a pledge to keep the hospitals as full service facilities “that will continue to provide critically needed care.”
Daughters of Charity executives should also keep promises made to all employees on safe staffing, high standards to assure recruitment and retention of RNs, as well as on jobs, benefits, and pensions with a transparent process in any transition, the nurses say.
St. Vincent RN Debbie Cuaresma cites the changes she has seen in 36 years of working. “But one thing is constant, our commitment to our patients, and to our hospital. Now we ask the Daughters of Charity to honor their commitments to us and to our patients to keep St. Vincent open as a full service community hospital, keep the nurses who have given their lives to the community, and honor the promise of our pension so we can retire in dignity after our life of service.”