RNs, Community Leaders to Hold Vigil at St. Louise in Gilroy Thursday
RNs, Community Leaders Call on Daughters of Charity chain to seek buyer committed to full-service hospital
Registered nurses, joined by local community leaders, will hold a vigil Thursday at St. Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy, to demand the Daughters of Charity Health System be held to its pledge to protect critical hospital services at St. Louise 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.
St. Louise’s busy emergency department is the only one in South Santa Clara County, and serves a majority of the county’s Medi-Cal patients. The nearest hospital with an ER or a labor and delivery unit is more than 30 minutes away. Earthquake activity is not uncommon, as Gilroy sits between two active faults. The Loma Prieta quake in 1989 was centered 15 miles northwest of Gilroy, and a 6.2 quake hit Morgan Hill in 1984.
“I’ve worked in this community since 1983, and at St. Louise Regional Hospital since it was built in 1989,” said Donna Fisher, RN. “Our patients need a full-service hospital. The nearest emergency room is a half hour drive, and when you’re having a stroke or heart attack, every minute counts. Nurses have remained committed to this hospital even after six name changes and we want the same level of commitment from any prospective buyer.”
What: St. Louise Nurses Vigil
When: Thursday, June 19, 2014, 3:45 p.m. — 5:00 p.m.
Where: St. Louise Regional Hospital, 9400 No Name Uno, Gilroy, CA 95020
Many of the six Daughters of Charity hospitals in California, including St. Louise, serve predominantly low-income, medically underserved communities who would be especially harmed by cuts in hospital care and other patient services.
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.