For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Genovese: 518.782.9400, ext. 353
GOUVERNEUR, Oct. 3, 2012 – Registered nurses at E.J. Noble say they’re ready, able, and willing to provide care for the community. Yet the hospital remains closed – leaving the community without nearby access to acute and emergency care.
The New York State Department of Health suspended operations at E.J. Noble on Sept. 28 after it found numerous violations related to its lab. Although other local hospitals have offered to handle E.J. Noble’s lab work while these problems are corrected, the RNs say the timetable to reopen the hospital by the end of next week is too long.
“We’re all a team here at E.J. Noble,” said RN Ellen Meilleur, who expressed concern that many of the patients she saw last week have been transferred to facilities an hour or more away. “We want to get the hospital back on track, so that we can have the facility open – because the community needs us. We may be small, but we’re the only hospital for 40 miles. Nurses here have always worked hard to provide safe care. But when the facility is closed, we can’t provide quality care.”
RNs have said they’re willing to come in and do whatever was needed to re-open the hospital. But a great deal of work needs to be done to bring the lab’s policies and procedures back up to date.
“Now is the time for the hospital to be totally open and honest with the entire community,” said Kim Honeywell, RN, a representative of the New York State Nurses Association. “Now is not the time to try to hide problems.”
The federal government named E.J. Noble a “sole community provider” in 1992, because it is the only hospital within a forty mile radius.
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.
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