Press Release

Union nurse speaks out at U.S. Senate field hearing on the dangers of corporate greed in health care

Hannah Drummond testifying in front of Senate hearing

Hannah Drummond, RN from Mission Hospital in Asheville, N.C., appeared as a witness.

Hannah Drummond, a registered nurse at Mission Hospital in Asheville, N.C., appeared at a U.S. Senate subcommittee field hearing hosted by Sen. Ed Markey in Boston, Mass., on Wednesday, April 3. Drummond is the Chief Nurse Representative at Mission Hospital and a member of National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United (NNOC/NNU), the largest and fastest growing union of registered nurses in the United States.

At this field hearing of the Primary Health and Retirement Security Subcommittee of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) committee, Drummond featured among several witnesses speaking to the ways corporate greed endangers patient care and health care workers, something Drummond has direct experience with as an employee of HCA, the largest for-profit health care system in the country.

“My experience at Mission is representative of the decisions being made at HCA-owned hospitals across the country, which are being stripped of staff and essential services like nurseries, behavioral health, and trauma centers, leaving vulnerable communities without access to critical health services,” said Drummond at the hearing. “Health care should not be a business. That’s why nurses across this country support a single-payer Medicare for All system that will transform our profit-driven health care system into one that prioritizes patient care.” To see Drummond's remarks, visit the Senate hearing page.

Nurses at Mission Hospital voted to join NNOC/NNU in 2020, the year after the HCA takeover, resulting in the largest hospital union victory in the south in decades at the time. Since then, Mission nurses successfully negotiated their first contract while remaining vocal and steadfast advocates for their patients and the entire Asheville and western North Carolina community. Advocacy by Mission nurses was instrumental in prompting both state and federal actions to investigate HCA’s practices at Mission, including the North Carolina attorney general’s lawsuit against HCA and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ temporary determination of immediate jeopardy for patients at the facility.

NNOC/NNU represents roughly 1,500 registered nurses at Mission Hospital. Nurses at Mission Hospital are among more than 10,000 NNOC/NNU nurses negotiating new contracts with HCA this year.

HCA, the largest health system in the countryadvertises over 180 hospitals in its network. The company self-reported over $5.2 billion in profits in 2023 but regularly shuts down vital health services at its hospitals. According to Securities and Exchange Commission filings, HCA has reported over $31.7 billion in profits since 2018 and executive compensation totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. 

HCA co-founder and major shareholder Thomas Frist, Jr., who has extensive experience serving as an executive at HCA, currently ranks at 32 in the Forbes 400 Richest Americans and at 57 in Bloomberg Billionaire Index of the world’s 500 richest people, with an estimated net worth of nearly $30 billion.

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.