Keep Doctors San Pablo Open-Town Hall Meeting
RICHMOND- Some 300 West Contra Costa County registered nurses, seniors, religious leaders and community members packed the first of three town hall meetings May 22 that are intended to step up efforts to keep Doctors Medical Center (DMC), and its emergency room open as a full service hospital.
The next Town Hall meeting will be May 29 in Hercules, the California/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) announced.
What: Town Hall Meeting to Keep Doctors San Pablo Open
When: Thursday, May 29, 2014, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Hercules Senior Center
111 Civic Dr., Hercules
The May 29 and June 5 town hall meetings will be held in Districts IV and V, where the highest proportions of working class, African American and/or senior residents who stand to be most affected by a closure reside.
CNA/NNU has filed charges last week with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Office of Civil Rights, alleging unlawful discrimination by Contra Costa County and the West Contra Costa Healthcare District by the planned closure of the hospital.
DMC has been a vital safety net for citizens of the West County for many years, and as the complaints allege, the closure of DMC would have a disparate and disproportionate impact on the health of African Americans and senior citizens in violation of their civil rights. The complaints seek injunctive relief from the federal government to prevent the closure of DMC.
“Our community is rallying to Doctors Medical Center because the hospital is essential to the health of West Contra Costa County,” said Myrtle Braxton, a community activist, and member of the Easter Hill United Methodist's Church. “It would be a disaster for this hospital to close.”
“In my work as a case manager, I know closure of DMC would have a catastrophic effect on this community,” said Karen Davis, a case manager RN, who works at the facility and lives in Pinole. “I help our patients, who often don’t have health coverage, get on Medicaid or Medi-Cal. The health emergency a closure would cause in West Contra Costa County is incomprehensible.”
Postcard for first town hall on 5/22/
“As an emergency room nurse at DMC for over a decade, I know that whether you have insurance or not, DMC is relied on by every person in West County in a healthcare emergency,” said Laddie Belmonte, RN.
The post card, with a picture of a refinery poses the question:
A post card mailer advertising the first town hall featured a photo of a refinery and posed the question:
When the next Chevron Refinery disaster strikes... Where will you or your loved ones go for emergency care? If Doctors Medical Center and its ER close, lives will be lost.
DMC provides 60 percent of the emergency care in the region, roughly 40,000 patients a year and has 79 percent of the hospital beds. When the disastrous explosion and fire at the Chevron refinery forced more than 15,000 residents to seek hospital treatment, the majority went to DMC.