Press Release

Desert Regional nurses to deliver community petition demanding Tenet address serious patient safety concerns

Large group of smiling nurses outside Desert Regional Medical Center

Nurses and community members call for oversight measures for Tenet

Registered nurses at Desert Regional Medical Center (Desert Regional) in Palm Springs, Calif., will present the Desert Healthcare District Board (the board) a community petition with more than 1,600 signatories and more than 400 postcards from nurses at the district’s special meeting on Monday, Jan. 22, announced the California Nurses Association (CNA) today. The petition and the postcards call on Tenet Healthcare to address the persistent patient safety issues at the facility and underscore the importance of the community’s input in deciding the fate of the hospital. 

“As nurses, we understand the importance of education, and we are committed to making sure that everyone who lives in the boundaries of the Desert Healthcare District understands that Desert Regional Medical Center is a public asset and, therefore, they are the rightful owners of the hospital, they have a right to decide what is the best course for the hospital’s future,” said Lori Ruggerio, a registered nurse.  

  • What: Nurses to deliver a community petition and nurses’ postcards to the Desert Healthcare District Board
  • When: Monday, Jan. 22, 5 p.m.
  • Where: UCR Palm Desert Campus 75080 Frank Sinatra Dr., Palm Desert

Nurses will present the board with the community petition and postcards and share their concerns about the persistent problems at the hospital, including inadequate staffing, broken equipment, chronic plumbing issues, and rodents.

As the board considers Tenet’s proposal to renew the lease of the hospital, the nurses and community members are recommending the board include provisions in any possible future lease that include oversight measures and a process for the board to impose fines on Tenet for failing to address structural and staffing issues.

In addition, the nurses are demanding that Tenet immediately address the chronic problems at Desert Regional, including: roof and plumbing leaks, lack of hot water in parts of the hospital, frequently broken elevators, and short staffing. Nurses say it is unconscionable that Tenet has failed to maintain the building and the facility.

Furthermore, the nurses are demanding that Tenet or any other future partner commit to the preservation of all current medical service lines and to expand the hospital so that patients are no longer held in the emergency room for long periods before they can be admitted to the appropriate hospital unit.

In its Security and Exchange Commission filing, Tenet Healthcare reported net earnings of more than $1 billion dollars in 2022. 

“The community both deserves and needs Tenet to invest into our hospital, so we can provide the highest quality of care to our patients,” Deb Edwards, a registered nurse. “We need Tenet to recognise that our patients lives and well-being are at stake when administrators cut staffing and fail to maintain a clean, well-maintained facility.

CNA represents more than 850 nurses at DRMC. 

California Nurses Association/National Nurses United is the largest and fastest-growing union and professional association of registered nurses in the nation with 100,000 members in more than 200 facilities throughout California and nearly 225,000 RNs nationwide.