Nearly two dozen registered nurses from E.J. Noble Hospital and their supporters took part in candlelight vigil on Oct. 11, as a show of support for their community’s hospital.
The hospital remains closed after the Department of Health suspended operations on Sept. 28, when it found numerous violations related to its lab.
The RNs spoke about the urgent need to reopen the area’s only acute-care facility.
“It’s sad for the community, it’s sad for the workers. It’s just sad for everyone,” said LBU secretary Pat Mackiewicz. “If you really think about it, people have to travel at least 40 miles to get to the nearest hospital. If you’re having a heart attack, that’s not a good thing. If you’re having a stroke, you’re not going to be able to stop that stroke before there’s serious damage.”
“We give care to the larger community,” said bargaining unit member Carol Lamson. “It’s not just Gouverneur. We have people coming from Edwards, Russell, Antwerp. We need the hospital.”
NYSNA has represented the 31 RNs at the Gouverneur facility since 1996.
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for nursing in the Empire State. With more than 37,000 members, it is New York’s largest professional association and union for registered nurses. The association represents registered nurses, and some all-professional bargaining units, in New York and New Jersey. It supports nurses and nursing practice through education, research, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining.