For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Genovese, 518.782.9400, ext 353
VALHALLA, NY, July 9, 2010 – The upcoming elimination of nursing positions at Westchester Medical Center will have a negative impact on the quality of patient care, according to the New York State Nurses Association, the union for the center’s registered nurses.
On Thursday, medical center management announced it will cease providing nursing services to the Westchester County Department of Correction Facility, resulting in the displacement of 28 RNs. Reorganizing the medical center’s Behavioral Health Center will result in the displacement of an additional 10 nurses in its Psychiatric Facility and Emergency Department.
RNs in the Correctional Health Facility have endured months of anxiety as the county and medical center engaged in a battle over the provision of health services for inmates. An out-of-state company, Correct Care Solutions of Nashville, TN, will take over the delivery of health services on July 26. In less than three weeks, Nurses Association RNs who have worked for years in the Correctional Facility will be sent out the door.
According to the New York Journal News: “This deal would come a decade after the county's last flirtation with privatized health care for county jail inmates, when the deal led to at least two inmate suicides and subsequent lawsuits…. Correct Care Solutions also had legal troubles, and has been named in 140 federal lawsuits since 2004.”
The reduction of nursing services in the medical center’s Psychiatric Facility, especially the Emergency Department, is also a cause of concern to Nurses Association members, as immediate patient assessments may be compromised by the decreased staffing.
Management has promised that nurses will be given an opportunity to fill vacant positions, followed by “bumping” of probationary or less-senior nurses. However, the Nurses Association contends that any reduction of nurses at the medical center will increase the patient load per nurse and decrease patient safety.
The county has promised Westchester taxpayers that the change to Correct Care Solutions will save them millions of dollars, but at what cost?
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for nursing in the Empire State. With more than 36,000 members, it is the state's largest professional association and largest union for registered nurses. It supports nurses and nursing practice through education, research, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining.
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