Affinity RNs to Describe Impact on Public Health Posed by Hospital Closure Threat Pledge to Work with Elected Leaders, Community to Save Hospital
Registered Nurses who work at Affinity Medical Center in Massillon, Oh. will hold a press briefing in front of the hospital Tuesday morning to discuss the likely effects of the threatened closure of the hospital on public health in the region.
What: Press Conference with Affinity Medical Center RNs
When: Tuesday, January 9, 2018, 10 a.m.
Where: In front of Affinity Medical Center,
875 8th St., outside 8th Street entrance, Main Entrance, Massillon, Oh
National Nurses United (NNU), whose affiliate, National Nurses Organizing Committee-Ohio (NNOC) represents some 250 RNs at Affinity, have pledged to work with elected leaders, community residents, and local organizations, including other labor groups, to rally opposition to oppose the closure.
NNU sharply criticized the plan by Quorum Health Corporation, a spin-off operation of the notorious Community Health Systems, one of the nation’s largest for-profit hospital chains, to close the hospital, especially with such short notice, and no apparent plan to protect community residents served by the hospital, or the hundreds of Affinity RNs and other caregivers who have long served the community.
The Affinity RNs will to discuss the impact of the closure and a campaign to save the hospital. They will also talk about alternatives, including alternatives for operating the hospital in the event Quorum and CHS continue their plan to abandon the community.
“Nurses, like the rest of our community, are stunned by this sudden announcement to close Affinity Medical Center. I have been providing care to patients in this community for over 35 years and know that the care provided by nurses and other staff at AMC is very much needed. There is no way that I am going to accept this decision by QHC to abandon our community sitting down,” said RN Rose Anne Wilson, who works in Affinity’s Orthopedic Department.
“The life-saving care provided at Affinity must stay intact for our patients. The delays in necessary care that this closure would bring are unacceptable,” said Debra McKinney, an RN in Affinity’s Medical Telemetry Unit.
“This is an unwarranted closure that will cause enormous suffering, especially in the midst of a severe opioid crisis that has had a huge impact on the community,” warned Jean Ross, RN, co-president of National Nurses United, the largest U.S. union and professional association of RNs.
A closure would also “have potential life threatening effects with the loss of a hospital that provides critical cardiac care services that will not be easily replaced in a rural community with limited public transportation options for low income, senior residents,” Ross said.
“If Quorum and CHS are unwilling to keep Affinity open, it should commit to work with elected officials and the community to develop another operator to retain this vital community resource, or be held fully accountable for the disaster likely to follow,” said Ross.
“CHS in particular has a long, disgraceful history of ignoring the interests and well being of the patients who count on them for care and who have funded the wealth of this big corporation,” said Ross. “CHS is also one of the most lawless corporations in healthcare with a history of violating federal law and nurses’ democratic rights.”