Nurses Say MemorialCare Reneges On Pledge to Work With New Operator to Save Community Hospital Long Beach from Closing
Long Beach City Council to Vote on Tomorrow June 19th
What: Nurses Demand MemorialCare Work with New Operator to Keep CHLB Open
When: 4:30 p.m. Tuesday June 19th
Where: Long Beach City Hall, 333 W Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, California
Registered nurses at Community Hospital Long Beach are saddened to learn that MemorialCare is backpedaling on their prior commitment to ensure a “warm hand off” to a new operator of Community Hospital Long Beach (CHLB) to prevent it from closing its emergency room on June 25th and the entire hospital on July 3rd. News of MemorialCare’s sudden change in position comes just days after Long Beach city leaders announced they found a new operator willing to take over the operation of CHLB.
Today, Tuesday, June 19th, the Long Beach City Council is scheduled to vote on whether to engage in exclusive negotiations with this potential new operator. But now, MemorialCare is refusing to work with any potential new operator, citing bogus facts on the ground in an effort to force the closure of the hospital.
“Memorial has been dishonest and misled our community throughout this entire process. They committed to a “warm hand off” with a new operator but all along they have manipulated and fabricated facts to justify their only intent of eliminating the competition, at the expense of our citizens,” said registered nurse Jackie McKay.
“The City has worked hard to find a partner that will continue to operate Community Hospital and meet the healthcare needs of East Long Beach. We are thrilled to have Molina, Wu, Network, LLC. as a new partner given their extensive hospital management experience. We are all asking MemorialCare to live up to their commitment and ensure a smooth transition to maintain this critical facility,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia.
Nurses, who stand committed to staying on with the new operator, say if CHLB closes the emergency room as scheduled on June 25th the community will be left without a vital life-saving resource. In addition, if the hospital closes on July 3rd, nurses say patients who are currently in the hospital receiving mental health care will be at risk at being dumped into the community without the medical help they so desperately need.
“It breaks my heart to think about what will happen to our patients if we do not get an operator who can keep the doors of CHLB open to serve our community,“ says registered nurse Michelle Pimental. “Right now there are people who are suffering mental health crises who are getting desperately needed care at CHLB. If the hospital closes, there are simply not enough mental health beds in the area to accommodate their needs. How many of our vulnerable and mentally ill patients will be discharged with a ticket to nowhere?”
The California Nurses Association represents nearly 100,000 nurses in the state, as part of National Nurses United, the largest union of RNs in the U.S.