Press Release

Watsonville Community Hospital nurses to hold informational picket Friday, Oct. 22, to protest Prospect Medical Holdings’ dangerous short-staffing, erosion of patient care standards, deteriorating working conditions

Two nurses inside hospital with fists raised

Nurses who work at Watsonville Community Hospital will hold an informational picket on Friday, Oct. 22, due to dangerous short-staffing conditions and seriously deteriorating patient care and working conditions.  Nurses cite chronic short-staffing, threats to close the critical care unit, and the decision in February 2021 by the Alabama corporate owners of the hospital, global real estate investment firm Medical Properties Trust (MPT), to bring in Prospect Medical Holdings to manage the facility.

Under Prospect’s management, chronic understaffing has worsened, forcing critically ill patients to be held in the emergency and telemetry units for sometimes hours at a time because there simply aren’t enough intensive care unit RNs to care for them. Nurses also say they are facing reprisals for speaking out, and that nurses with vital experience are making the hard choice to leave their community hospital due to the unsafe conditions.

“Watsonville used to be a wonderful place to work where patients were at the center of our shared mission,” said Roseann Farris, a registered nurse in the critical care unit. “But after we were sold to an out-of-state, for-profit corporation, everything went downhill. We have also watched as dozens of nurses have left due to unsafe conditions and management negligence. Today, nurses are taking a stand and demanding Prospect and MPT stop putting profits over the lives and safety of our patients and community.”

  • What: Watsonville Nurses Informational Picket
  • Where: Watsonville Community Hospital, 75 Nielson Street, Watsonville, C.A. 95076
  • When: Friday, October 22, 2021, 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. with RN speak-out at 4 p.m.

“It is hard to believe that despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic,” stated Gloria Amaya, registered nurse in the labor and delivery unit, “we are forced to take this serious step to warn and call on our hard-hit community to help us hold this outsider, for-profit company accountable for placing our patients, community, and nurses in harm’s way. My fellow nurses and I will always stand up as advocates. Patients, not corporate profits, are nurses’ bottom line.”

Press availability, photo opportunity: Nurses will be available to speak with the press at the picket beginning at 2:30 p.m., or at the speak-out at 4:00 p.m., 75 Nielson Street and Airport Blvd., Watsonville, CA., 90576.