AYER, Mass. and HAVERHILL, Mass., May 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- A car rally, scheduled for today, to protest the closure of the intensive care unit by Steward Healthcare's Nashoba Valley Medical Center (NVMC) has been postponed after members of the hospital's ICU staff, who had been redeployed to work at another Steward facility in Methuen since early April, were notified that they would be returning to NVMC next week.
A simultaneous event, featuring the delivery of a petition by nurses opposing the closure of the ICU at Steward-owned Holy Family Hospital in Haverhill, was also postponed after those nurses were informed by their managers that the ICU would be reopening.
The union will be monitoring the situation closely to ensure the services are restored, and it thanks all those supporters who were willing to stand by the nurses in their efforts to ensure the safety of their community.
The ICUs were discretely and unexpectedly closed on April 2 (NVMC) and April 3 (Holy Family Haverhill) and, as a result, the communities the hospitals serve have been left without desperately needed local ICU services for the care of their most critically ill patients — and at a time when they have never been needed more. Nurses caring for COVID-19 patients know that their conditions can change rapidly and severely, making ready access to ICU-level care critical to providing life-saving treatment.
Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association is the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its 23,000 members advance the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Legislature and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.