Press Release

Trinity nurses to hold press conference condemning behavioral health unit shutdown

Group pic of Trinity behavioral health unit nurses marching on the boss.

RNs at HCA Florida Trinity Hospital worry what the shutdown means for patients

Registered nurses at HCA Florida Trinity Hospital, in Trinity, Fla., will hold a press conference on Oct. 3 to speak out about their concerns regarding HCA’s shutdown of their hospital’s behavioral health unit, announced National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United (NNOC/NNU) today. Nurses say the unit’s shuttering leaves vulnerable patients in their community without easily accessible mental health care, and management’s failures set the stage for the closure of a unit where staff was ready to expand patient care capacity.

“A little over a year ago, rumors that management was planning to shut down our unit prompted a mass exodus of staff, forcing us to reduce the number of patients we could take at a time,” said Sue Wegener, RN in Trinity Hospital’s behavioral health unit for 12 years. “Management downplayed those rumors at the time, and we worked very hard to get our unit ready to expand capacity again. Now, all of the sudden, they’re using Hurricane Idalia as an excuse to suddenly close our unit’s doors forever, proving those rumors true and leaving our patients without a critical local resource for behavioral health care.”

  • Who:     RNs at HCA Florida Trinity Hospital
  • What:    Press conference on behavioral health unit shutdown
  • When:   Tuesday, Oct. 3, 10 a.m.
  • Where:  Trinity Hospital,  9330 FL-54, Trinity, Fla.

“I became a nurse because I want to care for our community at a hospital in our community,” added Wegener. “HCA is leaving patients to fend for themselves with this shut down and driving more nurses away from their hospitals by putting what they call ‘business necessity’ before patient care, the real necessity in a hospital.”

“Our unit was prepared to take more patients again starting this month,” said Jessie Helmbricht, RN in Trinity Hospital’s behavioral health unit for over eight years. “We were eager to reduce the wait times clogging up our emergency room by upping our census. But, instead, management is now shutting us down completely and forcing patients to go hours away outside of our community to seek this care. It’s unacceptable.”

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.