Healthcare Workers to Urge El Camino Hospital Board at Feb. 13 Meeting to Protect Patients, Jobs

3 U.S. Representatives Concerned About Patient Care, Layoffs

OAKLAND, Calif. – Fifty healthcare workers are expected to air their concerns at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 13 at El Camino Hospital, 2500 Grant Rd. in Mountain View, over the hospital board’s plan to purchase five Bay Area medical clinics without commitments to provide continuous patient care and retain the jobs of as many as 180 people.

Public pressure continues to mount against the El Camino Hospital Board’s action. U.S. Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose), Anna Eshoo (D-Menlo Park) and Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel) sent a letter Feb. 12 to the board urging it to protect patients and workers, and comes on the heels of similar correspondence from Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese, San Jose Vice Mayor Magdalena Carrasco and San Jose City Councilmembers Sergio Jimenez and Raul Peralez.

“If the El Camino Hospital Board cares about patients and workers, it needs to protect them from temporarily closing the clinics and laying off dedicated and skilled employees,” said Rena Schwartzberg, who is both an employee and patient at one of the facilities. “These clinics provide critical care to seniors like my 93-year-old mother, who have built a lot of trust in their caregivers over the years, and now they don’t know what they’re supposed to do.”

The hospital board will go into closed session during the Feb. 13 meeting to discuss the proposed purchase of five clinics currently owned by Verity Health. In a news report, the El Camino Hospital Board and its subsidiary Silicon Valley Medical Development said none of the current clinic employees would be “transferred” following the sale. The organization also stated in a press release that it is “…hopeful that we can obtain the assets to open new clinics in a timely manner…”

Of the workers slated to lose their jobs, nearly half of them are older than 50 – raising concerns about possible age discrimination by El Camino Hospital Board. Positions affected include medical assistants, patient service representatives, medical records clerks, radiology technologists and dozens of others.

WHAT:          More than 50 healthcare workers will speak out at the El Camino Hospital Board meeting and urge the board to protect patients and jobs following its plan to purchase five medical clinics and lay off as many as 180 people.

WHEN:          Wednesday, Feb. 13

5:30 p.m.

WHERE:       El Camino Hospital (Conference Rooms A&B, F&G; ground floor)

2500 Grant Rd.

Mountain View, Calif. 94040

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SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) is one of the largest unions of hospital workers in the western United States with 95,000 members. Learn more at www.seiu-uhw.org.