Press Release

Ventura County nurses and health care professionals to hold ‘Speak Out’ to save Santa Paula Hospital ICU and birthing center from closure

Six nurses in scrubs posing for picture side by side

Nurses and health care workers from Santa Paula Hospital, Ventura County Medical Center to protest proposed closures  

Nurses and health care professionals at Santa Paula Hospital (SPH) in Santa Paula, Calif., and Ventura County Medical Center (VCMC) in Ventura, Calif., will hold a ‘Speak Out’ on Friday, June 14 in Ventura to protest the proposed closure of the SPH intensive care unit (ICU) and birthing center by the Ventura County Healthcare Agency Administration and County Board of Supervisors, announced California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) today.

Nurses say these proposed closures would have a devastating impact on the community and will endanger lives.

“As an OB nurse at SPH, I have witnessed numerous deliveries within 30 minutes of arrival,” said Carol Lundstrom, RN in the birthing center unit at SPH. “With our unit closed women risk unattended roadside deliveries while on the way to Ventura County Medical Center. There are so many things that can go wrong with a delivery such as pre-eclampsia and hypertensive crisis, where the pregnant woman could seize or have a stroke, or a postpartum hemorrhage where a woman can lose up to half the volume of their blood, or an infant who needs resuscitation. All of these scenarios, require immediate and intensive care by knowledgeable physicians and nurses with specializations in obstetrics.”

Who: Nurses and health care professionals at Santa Paula Hospital and Ventura County Medical Center
What: Save SPH ICU and OB from budget cuts ‘Speak Out’
When: Friday, June 14, 2024,  8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
Where: On the corner of Telephone Rd. and Victoria Ave. in Ventura
near the Ventura County Government Center (800 S. Victoria Ave. Ventura, CA 93009)

On Tuesday, June 4, SPH and VCMC nurses and health care professionals made public comments at the Ventura County Board of Supervisors in opposition to the proposed closure of the ICU and birthing center. The nurses and health care professionals urge Ventura County Health Care Agency Administration and Board of Supervisors to invest in nursing staff and public health for the Santa Paula community and surrounding areas.

  • Currently, SPH offers intensive care services and birthing services for rural residents of Ventura, Saticoy, Lake Piru, Santa Paula, Camarillo, Fillmore, Ojai Valley, and Santa Clarita Valley. The removal of these two important services will leave thousands of community members out of reach of life-saving services.
  • While VCMC and SPH are under one hospital licensure, patient safety is at risk by having only one ICU and Women’s Services unit between two facilities. There are roughly 15 miles between the two facilities, and life-saving care can be jeopardized during transport.
  • Marginalized immigrant and low-socio-economic communities who serve in the county’s agricultural industry and farm fields will be left without birthing and intensive care services in their vicinity should the County of Ventura Board of Supervisors approve the closures at SPH. CNA union nurses and healthcare professionals are standing up for their patients and the community to ensure equal care and access is maintained.

“Cuts to services at SPH will have a negative impact on the patients and communities we care for,” said Gina Parcon, RN in the ICU at SPH, “We urge the Ventura County Board of Supervisors and the Ventura Health Care Agency administrators to keep services open so that we can continue saving the lives of our most vulnerable population.” 

The board of supervisors could vote on the unit closures at the budget hearing on June 17 at 5 p.m. Currently, there is a public, community petition with more than 1,800 signatures demanding that the ICU and birthing center at SPH remain open.

CNA represents over 800 health care professionals, including registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, psych techs, and licensed vocational nurses who work at Santa Paula Hospital and Ventura County Medical Center including 13 clinics, public health departments, and behavioral health clinics.

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.