Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital chooses to shutter essential services at Community Hospital and sacrifice patient care as the COVID-19 numbers continue to rise

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 30, 2020
Contact: Kristi Barnes | kristi.barnes@nysna.org | 646-853-4489

Montefiore turns patients away from New Rochelle Hospital and transfers high-risk patients out in preparation for nurses’ strike

NEW ROCHELLE, NY - Hospital administration at Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital is taking an irresponsible approach to prepare for a planned Unfair Labor Practice strike by nurses on December 1 and 2. Instead of addressing what the nurses are demanding to provide safe care to this community, administrators at Montefiore New Rochelle decided to close the emergency room and begin transporting critically ill patients out of the hospital.

“We announced our intention to strike almost ten days ago, and this is the best, safest plan Montefiore can come up with for our community?” asked NYSNA leader at New Rochelle, Kathy Santoiemma, RN. “The number of patients—including possible COVID patients—has been growing steadily in our emergency department. People in Medical-Surgical and Step-Down Units need close monitoring— transporting them is a risk. Where are they going to go? These decisions by hospital management have me extremely concerned.”

The New York State Nurses Association began hearing on Sunday night from nurses working in the hospital about the planned changes to prepare for the ULP strike. Two patients were transferred out of the hospital overnight. The Emergency Department stopped accepting patients.

Santoiemma said: “All hell is breaking loose at the hospital, and nurses have not even gone out on strike yet! The ICU is full and traveler nurses are not coming in to help. Med-Surg nurses are taking on 15 patients, when they should have 5 or 6. Progressive care nurses are handling 6-7 patients, instead of 4. How can Montefiore treat patients this way?”

Monday, November 30, is the last chance for the union and the hospital to reach a deal before the ULP strike.

Shalon Matthews, RN, said, “Montefiore has not adequately prepared for the second wave of COVID with PPE and basic health and safety protocols. It is clear management has not prepared for this strike, either. They are choosing to endanger patients and refuse care for our community, instead of negotiating with nurses for a fair contract. As someone who cares for patients every day, I feel so disappointed in my employer right now.”

Nurses will be available to speak to the press today to express their concerns with Montefiore’s patient care strike plan.

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The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) represents more than 42,000 members in New York State. We are New York’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses. For more information, please visit nysna.org. 

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