Press Release

Nurses protest HCA crushing hospitals at Frist Family Gala in Nashville

Large group of nurses outside Frist Art Museum holding banner "Patients Needs over HCA/Frist Greed"

Nearly 100 union nurses from across the U.S. protested outside the April 27 Frist Family Gala at the Frist Art Museum in Nashville, Tenn., a black-tie event named for the family that founded and is a major shareholder in HCA, the largest for-profit health care company in the country. The protesting nurses work at HCA facilities, where they are in contract negotiations this year represented by National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United (NNOC/NNU), the largest and fastest growing union of nurses in the U.S. today. 

“It was black-tie inside, but we were outside in red,” said Molly Zenker, RN at HCA-owned Mission Hospital in Asheville, N.C. “Nurses have protested this gala before to let the world know that the Frists fund galas and art museums by pillaging and plundering the hospitals that HCA buys up.” NNOC/NNU nurses have protested the previous two Frist Family Galas in 2022 and 2023, making this the third protest of the event in three years.

Roughly 10,000 nurses at 18 facilities in six states — Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Kansas, Missouri, and Nevada — are represented by NNOC/NNU in union contract negotiations with HCA this year. In bargaining, nurses are fighting for safer staffing, against unit closures and service cuts, and for responsible implementation of new technology like artificial intelligence. For more information on HCA facilities represented by NNOC/NNU, see here. To kick off bargaining with the health care giant, nurses at NNOC/NNU-represented facilities have held a series of rallies, including in TexasNorth CarolinaMissouri, and two in Florida.

According to HCA, Dr. Thomas Frist, Jr., co-founded HCA with his father and venture capitalist Jack Massey in 1968, spawning a corporate behemoth that continues to buy hospitals and gut their services to turn a profit on people’s health care. Frist, who has extensive experience serving as an HCA executive, currently ranks in the top 35 of the Forbes 400 Richest Americans, in the top 70 of the Bloomberg Billionaire Index of the world’s 500 richest people, and, with an estimated net worth of nearly $30 billion, is the richest man in Tennessee.

National Nurses Organizing Committee is an affiliate of National Nurses United, the largest and fastest-growing union and professional association of registered nurses in the United States with nearly 225,000 members nationwide. NNU affiliates also include California Nurses Association, DC Nurses Association, Michigan Nurses Association, Minnesota Nurses Association, and New York State Nurses Association.