Press Release

Nurses to Present Community Protest Petition Tonight

For Immediate Release
April 11, 2011

Challenging Palomar Hospital Board’s Priorities

Palomar Pomerado Health District registered nurses will present a community protest petition to the PPH Healthcare District Board of Trustees tonight with a petition signed by hundreds of area residents sharply criticizing priorities by the hospital district that have undermined public trust in the district, eroded safety, and exposed the district to public ridicule.

The petition cites skyrocketing executive pay packages in the district while the board has failed to improve patient care services.

What: Nurses Protest at Palomar Pomerado Health District Board of Directors
When: April 11, Board Meeting Begins at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Palomar Hospital, Graybill Auditorium
555 East Valley Parkway, Escondido Calif.

The petition reads: We the undersigned residents of the Palomar Pomerado Health District urge the District Board of Directors  to put patients first! Your highest priorities should be improving the health of our residents and ensuring that our hospitals can continue to attract and retain quality healthcare workers for our community. Stop attacking employee health benefits, establish real lift team, and improve health access in Ramona and Valley Center. Out of control executive pay, costly celebrity spokespeople, and out of district clinics is a waste of public funds.

  • The registered nurses of Palomar Pomerado Health (PPH) and the Caregivers and Healthcare Employees Union (CHEU), together with district residents and community and labor organizations, are speaking out at the public meeting about PPH becoming increasingly out of touch with its employees and communities.
  • Dangerous reorganizations that endanger patient care, short staffing that results in violations of nurse-to- patient ratio laws, and attacks on employees has the community worried.
  • Residents of Ramona and Valley Center expressed concern over PPH’s broken promise to the voters to build a 36,000 square foot clinic in the underserved/rural region of the district. PPH instead has gone back on its commitment to district residents; plans are now to build only 6,000 square feet.  
  • Attacks on employee health benefits, rights, and looming layoffs have created an atmosphere of fear as residents look to the district board to take action and reverse the increasingly deteriorating trust in the hospitals priorities and failed commitment to the community it serves.
  • Michael Covert, PPH CEO is the highest paid public bureaucrat in California as exposed in the LA Times and local papers, was second in pay only to Robert Rizzo, the jailed City of Bell Administrator.
  • The out of control executive pay and commensurate bonuses for the administration continue even as staffing shortages continue to affect patient safety, residents in underserved areas struggle for access to care.

PPH RNs have taken this action to put the PPH publicly elected board on notice to and make good on their promise to the underserved areas of the district to patient safety first and to stop attacking their employees.