Press Release

RNs to Protest Appointment of Kaiser CEO Halvorson to First 5 CA Children’s Commission

Decision to close vital Hayward pediatric unit shows his inability to act in best interests of children
SACRAMENTO— Registered nurses from throughout Kaiser Permanente will protest the appointment of Kaiser CEO George Halvorson to the First 5 California Children and Families Commission in the public comment period of the Commission’s meeting Thursday, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United announced today.
The nurses cite the controversial decision by Halvorson to close the pediatrics unit at Kaiser Hayward for children in need of hospitalization as one example of his unworthiness to safeguard the welfare of the state’s young population.  The unit serves more than 1,000 families a year and covers 100,000 children in the Tri-City area who receive healthcare from Kaiser Permanente.
The decision was made during a time of record profits, topping $ 2.1 billion in 2012, and massive CEO salaries, including Halvorson, whose compensation at $7.74 million topped the list of the 10 highest-compensated California nonprofit hospital leaders in 2010.
What:    Kaiser RNs Protest Kaiser CEO Appointment at Public Hearing
When:   July 25, 9:00 a.m.
Where:  Hilton Garden Inn, 2540 Venture Oaks Way, Pine Room, 1st Floor Sacramento, 95833
“First 5 California’s stated mission to ‘improve the lives of California’s young children and their families through a comprehensive system of education, health services, childcare, and other crucial programs’ runs counter to Mr. Halvorson’s policy decisions which are creating great harm to our communities' children,” said John Green, a parent of a four-year-old who lives in Hayward and utilizes the pediatric unit.
A growing coalition of elected officials and community organizations have staged numerous large protests against the planned closure.
Currently, the Hayward inpatient pediatrics unit serves children who live in a geographic area that includes Hayward, Fremont, Union City, San Lorenzo, San Leandro, and Castro Valley. The closure will force southern Alameda County families with children who need to be hospitalized to drive to Oakland, Santa Clara, or Roseville for care.
“In the event that children require hospitalization, it would create an unnecessary hardship on working families to have to drive to Oakland, Santa Clara, or Roseville for care, especially for parents who have children with chronic medical problems that require frequent pediatric services,” said Winny Knowles, an RN who works in the pediatrics unit.
“Kaiser members with children deserve access to critical care in their own community in order to thrive. As a dedicated pediatric RN, I have cared for Kaiser members and their children for over four decades and as a Kaiser member myself, I am disappointed at the corporate decision to reduce this vital service in my community.”