**MEDIA ADVISORY FOR TODAY, TUES., DEC. 20, 5:30 PM**: IN THE BRONX: NYSNA RNs, CIR/SEIU & The Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition to Host Bronx Community Health Forum

Contact: Kristi Barnes | press@nysna.org | 646-853-4489 
Eliza M. Bates | eliza.bates@nysna.org | 646-285-8491

Nurses, Doctors, Patients, Faith, Community and Elected Leaders Will Come Together to Discuss Health Equity and Healthcare Challenges in The Bronx

New York, NY — Today, Tuesday, December 20 at 5:30 PM, caregivers, patients, and allies will join a Bronx community health forum hosted by NYSNA RNs from Montefiore Medical Center to discuss healthcare challenges in the Bronx and to address health inequity. The health outcomes in the Bronx are the worst in New York State and some of the worst in the country. The Bronx ranks dead last in health of any county in New York State – 62 out of 62.   Across the nation, women of color are 3 times more likely to die than white women due to maternal complications. The Bronx has the highest infant mortality rate in New York City.  At the same time, Montefiore, the largest healthcare provider in the borough, has cut services, including by reducing staffing at the Home Health Agency in half – from 100 nurses to 50 – and is planning to shut down the Family Health Partnership program that cares for the most high-risk mothers and babies in the Bronx and Yonkers. Montefiore also recently closed the Grand Concourse clinic, displacing patients, and reducing primary care access in the Bronx.

WHAT: Bronx Community Forum hosted by NYSNA, CIR/SEIU and the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition. 
WHO: Nurses, doctors, patients, faith community and elected leaders will discuss health equity and healthcare challenges in the Bronx and at Montefiore, the largest healthcare system in the Bronx.
WHERE: Fordham-Bedford Housing Corp - Serviam Hall, 2848 Bainbridge Avenue, Serviam Hall (Bldg D), Bronx, NY 10458
WHEN: TODAY, Tuesday, December 20, 2022 at 5:30 PM

*Media availabilities in English and Spanish*

“Our community deserves quality care. Nurses want to improve conditions in the Emergency Department and the hospital. In the ED where I work, I sometime care for 20 patients at a time, instead of a safe standard of 3 patients. In the critical care part of our ED, instead of one nurse caring for 2 patients, they are sometimes caring for 6 or 9. This is not safe or fair for nurses or patients,” said NYSNA Director at Large Benny K. Mathew, RN, and member at Montefiore

”The Bronx was already facing huge shortages in family care services, and the recent closure of clinics will only create a bigger gap in services for the different communities who live here. Montefiore owes it to its patients to invest—not divest—resources in healthcare services and the frontline caregivers.” said Dr. Isuree Katugampala, a third year pediatric resident physician at Montefiore.

“I want the public to know that nurses are fighting for quality care for the community. Hospitals must listen and respond to community input with the healthcare services that people need. We want to be able to say that Montefiore has improved the health outcomes of our community. To do that, Montefiore needs to stop putting profits before patients. They can do more, and they need to take care of the community they say they are committed to,” said Vanessa Welden, RN, NYSNA member at Montefiore

“In the NICU, they have been over bed capacity for the last couple months. Charge nurses, who
shouldn’t take any patients, are sometimes taking 2 or 3 patients because they’re so understaffed. Some of the most critical care babies require a procedure called “brain cooling” which should be done by 2 nurses. One of the NICU nurses told me she recently was the only nurse giving this treatment, and she was caring for another critically ill baby at the same time. Most shifts, I work for 12 hours without a break, and management has no plan if a nurse calls out sick. Our patients deserve better,” said Lizette Rivera, RN, NYSNA member at Montefiore


The New York State Nurses Association represents more than 42,000 members in New York State. We are New York’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses. NYSNA is an affiliate of National Nurses United, AFL-CIO, the country's largest and fastest-growing union and professional association of registered nurses, with more than 225,000 members nationwide.

For more information, visit nysna.org.


The New York State Nurses Association is a union of 42,000 frontline nurses united together for strength at work, our practice, safe staffing, and healthcare for all. We are New York's largest union and professional association for registered nurses.