Fully fund UMC, contract with a responsible operator and ensure a full slate of health services. Those were the demands of the DC Health Justice Coalition at a DC City Council hearing last Friday. The Coalition, comprised of labor unions and community organizations, gathered at the Council to demand full-service, high-quality healthcare for residents of Wards 7 and 8. Before the Committee on Health heard more than four hours of testimony, coalition leaders rallied on the Wilson Building steps to draw attention to the healthcare crisis facing DC. Speakers included Metro Washington Council president Jackie Jeter, Elizabeth Davis of the Washington Teachers Union, Ed Smith from the DC Nurses Association, and Alma Aimes-Davis from 1199SEIU. The coalition brought 3 demands to City Council. In addition to demanding that the city fully fund United Medical Center -- the only hospital East of the river -- they pressed the city to contract with a responsible operator for the new hospital in Ward 8; not Universal Health Services, which was found to violate labor law just last month. Finally, the coalition demanded that the new hospital have a full slate of services, including a level-one trauma center and high-risk obstetrics unit. Find out more at dchealthjustice.com.
- Yvonne Slosarski, 1199SEIU