RNs, Community Leaders to Hold Vigil at Seton Thursday
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, will hold a vigil Thursday at Seton Medical Center in Daly City to demand the Daughters of Charity Health System be held to its pledge to protect critical hospital services at Seton 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.
Daly City Mayor David Canepa and Rev. Leonard Oakes of Holy Child and St. Martin Episcopal Church in Daily City are expected to join the Seton RNs Thursday to help emphasize their alarm about the potential loss of vital hospital care.
What: Vigil with Seton Medical Center RNs
When: Thursday, May 29, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Seton Medical Center, 1900 Sullivan Ave., Daly City
Canepa explained that in addition to being the largest employer in Daly City, he is concerned about the large number of “our low income and middle class residents who otherwise would not receive care” if the hospital services are lost. “This is why I am joining employees and residents at this vigil to ensure they continue to provide vital service to north San Mateo County. ”
Many of the six Daughters of Charity hospitals in California, including Seton, serve predominantly low income, medically underserved communities who would be especially harmed by cuts in hospital care and other patient services. Daly City also has one of the largest Filipino populations in the state who would be affected by the loss of Seton.
“Seton is a safety net hospital for the residents of north San Mateo County residents. Without this safety net, where will the uninsured and underinsured patients go to receive care?” asked Seton RN Melanie Santos. “Many of the employees, including some nurses who have been here for over 40 years, continue to work here because of the patients they care for daily.”
“San Mateo County Emergency Department can not accommodate the additional volume this hospital currently services.” Loss of the hospital, Santos warned, would “overwhelm the current healthcare system creating longer wait times and delays in care. We are asking the Daughters of Charity to keep their promises of keeping this hospital open as a hospital. The nurses have kept our promise to provide high quality of care every day.”
Rev. Oakes noted that Seton “it is very important for the Daughters of Charity to affirm to this community they will not be left orphaned. The service should be the same or more as it transfers to the next administration. We want to keep the spirit of it being a community hospital with the new owners. As a member of vicar community I am in solidarity with the all the workers at Seton. ”
The RNs are demanding that 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.
“Even though this hospital is owned by the Daughters, the patients, employees and residents of Daly City have always seen this as their community hospital,” said Malou Young, an 18-year Seton RN.
“Anyone who buys this hospital needs to keep this as a fully functioning hospital. The services we provide here are vital and without them there will be delays in care. When you’re having a stroke, you are going to want to be sent to hospital that is designated Stroke Center Certified like we are. Any loss of services, no matter how small will only mean longer waits for a hospital bed or even delays in care,” said Young.