UMass Memorial/Health Alliance Nurses Hold July 31 Press Conference To Discuss Deteriorating Patient Care at Facilities in the UMass System in the Wake of Dangerous Staffing and Service Cuts

Nurses from UMass Memorial Medical Center campuses in Worcester, Marlborough Hospital and Leominster Hospital to Detail Concerns Prior to Delivering Joint Letter to UMass Memorial Health Care CEO Eric Dickson Calling for Immediate Action to Protect Patients and Improve Care

Jul 30, 2014, 09:45 ET from Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United

WORCESTER, Mass., July 30, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being released by Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United:

Outside the corporate offices of UMass Memorial Health Care, on the corner of Research Drive and Innovation Drive in Worcester

Thursday, July 31 at 11 a.m.  Immediately following the press conference, a delegation of nurses will head to the offices of CEO Eric Dickson to deliver a letter calling for immediate action to address a growing patient safety crisis.

A delegation of nurses including representatives from the UMass Memorial Medical Center's University Campus and Memorial Campus, Marlborough Hospital and Leominster Hospital will speak at the press conference and deliver the letter to CEO Dickson. To schedule an interview with one of the nurses speaking at the press conference and for an embargoed copy of the letter to the CEO, contact David Schildmeier at

The Registered Nurses who work at a number of UMass Memorial Health Care facilities represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United are holding a press conference on July 31 to voice their concerns about a growing system-wide patient safety crisis and to call for the system's CEO to take immediate action to rescind and/or reverse plans to cut staff, eliminate and/or consolidate services in nearly every UMass/Health Alliance owned facility – plans the  nurses believe are degrading the quality and safety of care for every patient entering the UMass Memorial/Health Alliance system. Despite posting profits of more than $80 million in 2013, UMass CEO Eric Dickson has endorsed cost cutting measures and the reorganization of patient care services based on a manufacturing model borrowed from the auto industry. There have been countless rounds of layoffs and service closures at the UMass Memorial facilities in Worcester; cuts to the urgent care and cancer centers on the Burbank campus in Fitchburg; layoffs of staff and poor patient care conditions at the Marlborough Hospital campus, and at Leominster Hospital plans have been introduced that would downsize staff and increase patient assignments in nearly every department. All of these changes are being implemented when the UMass system has one of the worst records for preventable patient readmissions in the state. In response to these changes, nurses at each facility have already held numerous meetings with local management to voice their concerns, filed hundreds of official reports of unsafe patient care conditions, signed petitions opposing the changes and most recently, the nurses at the UMass University campus took an overwhelming vote of "no confidence" in their administration.

Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United is the largest professional health care organization and 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. The MNA is a founding member of National Nurses United, the largest national nurses' union in the United States with more than 170,000 members from coast to coast.

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SOURCE Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United