Press Release

Antelope Valley nurses to speak out at board of directors meeting and deliver petition of ‘no confidence’ in hospital CEO Edward Mirzabegian

AVH hosptial nurses circulating petition

Antelope Valley Hospital RNs to demand that hospital administration be held accountable for safe staffing for patients and a fair contract for RNs

Antelope Valley Hospital (AVH) registered nurses will speak out at tomorrow’s Antelope Valley Healthcare District Board of Directors’ meeting and deliver a petition of “no confidence” in AVH CEO Edward Mirzabegian, announced California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU), today. Nurses are calling on the board of directors to hold the hospital administration accountable for staffing and safe patient care amid ongoing contract negotiations.

Antelope Valley Hospital nurses will also be holding a vigil to honor hundreds of patients who have lost their lives to Covid-19 at Antelope Valley Hospital. The vigil will be held in the parking lot outside the Board of Directors meeting as several nurses speak out and deliver the petition of no confidence during public comment.

Antelope Valley Hospital nurses have been engaged in ongoing contract negotiations with hospital administration since November 2020 and have expressed deep concern over the AVH’s lack of preparedness during the brutal Covid-19 surge and their refusal to take measures for safer staffing and patient care practices. “We warned administration in August that we were not ready for the surge, and implored them to take immediate action for our community in anticipation of the inevitable surge in patients,” says Critical Care Unit RN Ruth Godde. “Our concerns, unfortunately, fell on deaf ears.”

What: Antelope Valley Hospital nurses to speak out at board of directors’ meeting, deliver petition of “no confidence” in CEO Edward Mirzabegian, and hold vigil in honor of fallen Covid-19 patients
When: Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.
Where: Antelope Valley Hospital, City of Hope Building, 44151 15th St. W, Lancaster, CA 93534

AVH nurses also raised concerns over the hospital’s inability to recruit and retain nurses. “We have lost more than 140 nurses over the past year and the hospital has failed to recruit enough new hires to fill those vacated positions,” said Emergency Room RN Erick Fernandez. “The vast majority of our nurses leave after a few years due to poor, unsafe working conditions. This high level of turnover is a failure of the hospital’s administration. Our community deserves better.”

As of January 2020, 143 RNs had left the hospital while only 139 nurses had been hired since March, 2019.

Amid ongoing negotiations, Nurses have continued to advocate for aggressive hiring of staff and implementation of retention tools. This protest is part of the ongoing campaign for a contract, which promotes safe patient care and a culture of recruitment and retention. Nurses are demanding the following:

  1. Ongoing communication with nurses to ensure nurse input in patient care practices and policy
  2. Regular Covid-19 testing to ensure safety for nurses and patients
  3. An end to retaliation against nurses who advocate for safer conditions for their patients
  4. Investment in recruitment, ongoing training and education of nurses to ensure retention

CNA/NNU represents nearly 900 nurses at Antelope Valley Hospital.