Press Release

San Benito County report bolsters RNs’ assertion that Hazel Hawkins "does not need to be in bankruptcy or sold"

Hazel Hawkins RNs hold signs at town hall

Nurses to speak out at Tuesday, Oct. 24 Board of Supervisor meeting as independent consultant presents recommendations

Nurses at Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital (Hazel Hawkins) in Hollister, Calif. plan to address the San Benito County Board of Supervisors (BOS) at their Oct. 24, 2023, meeting as the county’s hired consultant will present its report, “Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital Assessment”, including findings and recommendations on the future of the hospital to the board.

The nurses are pleased to see that the county commissioned consultant’s report concluded that Hazel Hawkins “does not need to be in bankruptcy or sold to a for-profit provider.” This conclusion, which is found on page 62 of the report, is in line with the nurses’ contention that the San Benito County Health Care district rushed to file bankruptcy despite the hospital’s relatively stable and improving finances.

“We certainly feel vindicated for taking on this fight and questioning the bankruptcy filing,” said Diane Beck, a nurse in the surgical department. “I shudder to think where we might be if we nurses hadn’t been so outspoken. This report supports our assertion that filing for bankruptcy was intended as a union-busting tool and not done out of any financial necessity.”

  • What:    Nurses speak out at San Benito County Board of Supervisors meeting
  • When:   Tuesday, October 24, 9 a.m.
  • Where:  Board of Supervisors Chambers, County Administration Building, 481 4th St., Hollister, Calif.

In its report, ECG Management Consultants recommend a workable pathway forward and conclude the community would be best served by “establishing a new hospital governing board” and “new administrative leadership.” These recommendations can be found on page 64 and page 62, respectively.

Furthermore, as noted on page 56, the report shows that compensation packages (including salaries, wages, and benefits) for the employees at Hazel Hawkins are well below the median benchmarks for hospitals of the same size in the region.

“There are those in management who tried to tie the hospital’s financial difficulties to the compensation packages, but this report shows that is simply not true,” said Sonia Duran, a registered nurse in the medical-surgical unit. “We hope this report will help clarify for the public what nurses have been saying all along: Hazel Hawkins management is failing us and our community.”

Duran continued, “We are grateful that the San Benito County Board of Supervisors is bringing their resources to bear as we chart the best way forward to ensure that Hazel Hawkins remains a full-service acute-care hospital able to care for all in our community.”

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.