The D.C. Nurses Association-National Nurses United, Service Employees Local 1199, the Teamsters and allied community groups have scheduled another mass call-in, Friday Nov. 16, to save Providence Hospital. This time, their target, at (202) 727-2643, is D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who they say has been favoring the developers who want to knock the hospital down. The call-in aims to rescue the unionized hospital, the sole one with comprehensive services – including emergency services – in the eastern half of the city. Ascension Health Care, the big Catholic hospital chain that owns Providence, wants to sell it to a developer who will turn the site into a “medical campus” with minimal health care services alongside upscale retail and housing, a speaker told JWJ at a brown-bag lunch Thursday. The hospital would be closed, and RNs and other workers out of jobs, just before Christmas. A prior call-in forced the D. C. City Council to clarify that the fate of Providence rests with the D.C. State Health Planning and Development Agency, which will hold a hearing Nov. 16 (see Calendar) on the Providence case. NNU, JWJ and their allies plan to pack the chamber, but “the hearing room seats only about 20 people,” the speaker said. So the unions and their community allies want people to call the mayor with their personal stories about what Providence means to them, demand she support keeping it open – and to demand a response from her by phone or e-mail. Click here for more information.
- Mark Gruenberg, PAI News; photo courtesy NursesHealDC