Press Release

Families and RNs Rally to Save Only Kaiser Pediatric Hospital Services for Southern Alameda County

Families and RNs Rally to Save Only Kaiser Pediatric Hospital Services for Southern Alameda County
Families, community members and nurses will hold an informational picket to protest Kaiser’s planned closure of the in-house pediatrics unit at Kaiser Hayward slated for November 17.

Kaiser Hayward pediatrics unit serves over 1,800 families a year, and more than 100,000 children in the tri-city area. This closure will force families with children who need to be hospitalized to drive to Oakland, Santa Clara, or Roseville, and will affect all families with children under age 18 from Hayward, Fremont, Union City, San Lorenzo, San Leandro, and Castro Valley.

Kaiser originally planned to transition pediatric services from Kaiser Hayward to a new hospital scheduled to open in San Leandro in late 2014. These plans have been discontinued.
“Kaiser is clearly cutting the level and quality of pediatric services being offered the families in Southern Alameda County,” said Kris Richter, an RN at the pediatrics unit in Hayward. “Do the math. As membership in the county grows, Kaiser has proposed to cut 22 nursing positions and only replace eight nursing positions in Oakland and the new hospital there isn’t even open yet. This means a 60 percent reduction in nursing services. We aren’t concerned about our jobs because we know we will get transfers. Our only concern is the quality of care our patients and future patients will receive if these drastic reductions go forward,” said Richter.
What:             Community Picket to Save the Kaiser Hayward Pediatric Unit               
When:            Thursday, November 14, 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Where:           Kaiser Hayward 27400 Hesperian Blvd, Hayward
                       Corner of Sleepy Hollow Ave S. and W. Tennyson Road  

“This decision needs to be reversed immediately. I’m outraged that Kaiser doesn’t seem to care about what the needs of local parents are,” said Brannin Dorsey, a concerned parent. “It breaks my heart to think that Kaiser would cut the critical hospital services that our children need. We paid our premiums and we deserve the services we paid for relatively close to home, so that we can be near our children if they are hospitalized.”
As both an insurance company and a hospital chain, Kaiser has increased its profits by reducing patient services, especially hospital care. Kaiser has grown by more than 21,000 new members in Northern California just since June, and made more than $2.6 billion in 2012.
Many elected officials, local unions, and community groups have endorsed the campaign to keep the Kaiser pediatrics unit open, including:

Rob Bonta, California Assembly; Bill Quirk, California Assembly; Sen. Ellen M. Corbett; former Assemblymember Alberto Torrico; Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski; Jim Prola, San Leandro City Council; Searles Elementary PTA/PTC in Union City; Alameda Central Labor Council; Hayward Firefighters, Local 1909; Stonebrae PTA/PTC in Hayward; Tri-Valley Democratic Club; Newark Teachers Association; SEIU Local 1021; Castro Valley Teachers Association; Hayward Firefighters – IAFF Local 1909; and the Alameda Central Labor Council.