Registered nurses employed by Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital will join thousands of members of California Nurses Association in hosting a local action for safe hospital staffing on Jan. 26.
The nurses are calling for all services to remain open at HHMH, and demand that their hospital remain open and fully staffed “so that RNs can protect their patients, their profession and their community,” says a press release from CNA.
The local rally will take place 4:30-5pm Jan. 26 at Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital, 911 Sunset Drive in Hollister.
The protests are part of a national day of action that National Nurses United (NNU), of which CNA is an affiliate, is organizing to bring awareness to “unacceptably low staffing levels across the country, fueled by the hospital industry’s prioritization of money over patient care,” says the press release. This prioritization has exacerbated the “triple-demic” into an ongoing “quad-demic” of RSV, influenza, Covid-19 and “crisis standards of care,” the CNA argues.
“Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital is critical to the well-being of our community, and the threat that our hospital could close has every nurse and all of our staff shaken to the core,” said Diane Beck, a registered nurse in the medical-surgical unit at Hazel Hawkins. “We are the only hospital in Hollister. Any loss of health care services would have a devastating impact on our community.”
This national day of protest comes as HHMH, in particular, faces an uncertain future. In November, the hospital’s governing board declared a fiscal emergency, allowing the district that oversees the facility to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.
In December, the hospital sent notices to the nurses and other staff warning of possible layoffs, or even the closure of the hospital, the CNA press release continues.
The hospital’s administrators have not yet declared bankruptcy.