Press Release

Watsonville Community Hospital nurses to hold press conference to demand hospital remain open

Five masked nurses inside hospital stand close together

Nurses who work at Watsonville Community Hospital will hold a press conference on Friday, Dec. 3, to demand that the hospital remain open, announced California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) today. The event is being held in response to a recent letter from the hospital to employees citing plans to sell the facility as part of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization process.

On Nov. 29, Watsonville Community Hospital employees received a letter from hospital management announcing its intention to file for a Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy and sell the facility through a bankruptcy court-approved process. The formerly public hospital was first privatized in 1998 after the Loma Prieta earthquake. Over the past five years, Watsonville Community Hospital has had three different corporate owners and two for-profit management companies. In 2019, when the third sale of the hospital was announced, nurses and community members held a town hall to express their concern that another unknown for-profit entity was taking over. Since Halsen Healthcare purchased the hospital in 2019, it sold the building and property to Medical Properties Trust (MPT). Prospect Medical Holdings took over management of the hospital in February 2021.

“Watsonville used to be a wonderful place to work where patients were at the center of our shared mission,” said Roseann Farris, RN in the critical care unit. “This news comes as no surprise to the nurses, as we have continued to sound the alarm on the deteriorating conditions after we were sold to an out-of-state, for-profit corporation. Nurses are taking a stand and demanding Prospect and MPT stop putting profits over the lives and safety of our patients and community, and keep Watsonville Community Hospital Open.”

  • What: Watsonville Community Hospital RNs to hold press conference
  • When: Friday, Dec. 3, 2021, 12 p.m.
  • Where: Watsonville Community Hospital, 75 Nielson St. (at Airport Blvd.), Watsonville, CA 95076

“It is hard to believe that, despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, 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,” said Gloria Amaya, RN in the labor and delivery unit. “My fellow nurses and I will always stand up as advocates. Patients, not corporate profits, are nurses’ bottom line.”

On Oct. 22, Watsonville RNs held an informational picket to protest Prospect Medical Holdings dangerous short staffing, erosion of patient care standards, and deteriorating working conditions.

The California Nurses Association has 100,000 members and is a founding member of National Nurses United, the largest and fastest growing union and professional association of registered nurses in the United States with more than 175,000 members nationwide.