December 14, 2017
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Nurses, techs plan candlelight vigil for patient safety, services

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CALAIS, Maine — The Maine State Nurses Association/National Nurses United will hold a candlelight vigil 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, April 30, at Triangle Park in downtown Calais to demand that the administration of Calais Regional Hospital restore recently cut services and staff hours so that patients in the community can continue to receive safe and accessible care.

The administration at CHR has recently eliminated the Special Care Unit as well as reduced service hours in cardiac, pediatrics and infusions.  The hospital has also made reductions in the in-patient unit causing additional patient transfers due to a shortage of nurses on particular shifts.  These eliminations and reductions will cause hardships to patients and their families who will be forced to seek care up to two hours away in addition to being costly.

The hospital has also has reduced the hours of dozens of frontline and ancillary staff which could lead to safety issues as well as exacerbate the necessity to transfer patients due to shortages.

“These reductions are unacceptable.  Patient care dollars should not be spent on consulting firms,” said Rebecca LaCasse, an RN at CRH. “We are afraid that some patients will not get the care they need.  Patients in Calais and the surrounding communities need to have a well-staffed hospital.  Nurses and staff are extremely concerned about the direction the hospital is moving and urge the administration to reverse the reductions.”

MSNA/NNU is asking the hospital to rescind the cuts to staff and services and re-prioritize their spending practices including ending their $412,000 per year contract with out-of-state consulting firm Quorum. Noting that under Quorum management, the hospital’s financial health has continued to deteriorate, nurses are calling for a review of the hospital’s billing practices.

MSNA/NNU represents more than 2,000 nurses who work in facilities and agencies throughout the state of Maine. As the largest organization of nurses in the state, MSNA/NNOC is committed to improving the standards of nursing and patient care through collective bargaining, advocacy and organizing. MSNA is part of the National Nurses United representing over 180,000 RNs nation wide.