Press Release

Sunday Nov. 5 Stroller Brigade and Rally in Berkeley to Save Alta Bates Medical Center - Birthplace of the East Bay

No Medical Redlining - Keep Alta Bates Open!

Kids Welcome! Balloons, Temporary Tattoos and Pizza!

On Sunday Nov. 5, community members, elected officials and registered nurses will hold a rally and march led by a brigade of strollers, on Sunday, Nov. 5, in Berkeley to protest Sutter Health's proposed closure of Alta Bates Medical Center, the city's only acute care medical facility and the birthplace of thousands of East Bay residents.

Speakers at the rally will include Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín, Ethel Long-Scott, Executive Director of the Women's Economic Agenda Project [WEAP], Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto, El Cerrito City Councilmember and RN, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Alta Bates, and retired RN Anjali Sundaram, who was delivered by Alta Miner Bates, the nurse who founded the hospital in 1905 to care for women and infants.

What: Stroller Brigade and Rally to Save Alta Bates Medical Center
When: Sunday Nov. 5, 2017 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Rally at noon.

Where: Alta Bates Medical Center, 2450 Ashby Avenue, Berkeley.

Children's activities will include arts and crafts, sign making, stroller decorating, free balloons and temporary tattoos. Pizza will be served!

"We're inviting all members of the community to join us on Sunday to celebrate the important role Alta Bates plays in in the East Bay, especially for mothers and newborns and to collectively speak up for its survival. Please bring the kids so they can join in the children's activities and roll with us in the stroller brigade," said Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto, an RN in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Alta Bates.

"Sutter Alta Bates had 5863 live births last year, ranking number seven out of all the hospitals in California," said Pardue-Okimoto, who is also a member of the El Cerrito City Council. "We can't let Sutter shut down this vital center of maternity and neonatal health care in our region!"

"Sutter's claim that patients rerouted from a closed Alta Bates to Summit will only experience a 12 minute delay in care is laughable to anyone who lives in the East Bay. Even if it were true, 12 minutes to someone who has experienced a massive heart attack, a GI bleed or a stroke can mean the difference between life and death, even traveling in an advanced life support ambulance, "said Stephanie Crowe Patten a Cardiac Telemetry Nurse at Summit. "It means the difference between a UC Berkeley student graduating and becoming a biologist and discovering a cure for cancer or your husband coming home to you rather than dying en route or in the parking lot."

Last year the Berkeley City Council unanimously approved a resolution opposing the closure of the Alta Bates hospital and emergency room recognizing that a closure would restrict access to emergency care for thousands of Berkeley residents — as well as students, faculty and staff on the UC Berkeley campus.

Sutter says it will maintain only doctors’ offices and potentially an “urgent care center” in Berkeley. But a broad range of vital patient services cannot be treated at an urgent care center, including heart attacks, strokes, seizures, internal bleeding, most burns, life threatening allergic reactions, poisoning, electrical shock, and severe abdominal pain, head and back injuries, and bone breaks.

The California Nurses Association has 100,000 members statewide and is affiliated with National Nurses United, the largest and fastest growing union of RNs in the nation. CNA/NNU has won landmark health and safety protections for nurses and patients in the areas of staffing, safe patient handling, infectious disease and workplace violence protection.