Resolution Would Abolish Community Oversight Board
Contact: Rick Fuentes
(Fridley) – September 13, 2016 – The North Suburban Hospital Board will be abolished and cede control of operations to Allina Health if a resolution passes Wednesday night. The motion comes just as there’s an election for three new citizens to sit on the board, including three healthcare workers.”The North Suburban Hospital Board provides the public with a voice in Unity,” said MNA Executive Director Rose Roach. “If the board begins the process of dissolving, there will be no accountability to the taxpayers who fund the hospital and rely on it for their healthcare needs.”
The hospital board overseeing Unity Hospital operations and administration collects fees and borrows money to maintain the facility. The board is composed of citizens of Mounds View, Spring Lake Park, Blaine, Fridley, and Hilltop and an at-large seat. The board leases management operations to Allina Health.
The board plans to vote on a resolution declaring its intention to dissolve on Wednesday, September 14. Allina is facing a strike by nurses at Unity and other metro facilities by nurses of the Minnesota Nurses Association. One of the candidates for a board seat is former MNA President Linda Hamilton.
“The timing of this move is very suspicious,” said Roach. “There has been no public notice or discussion of dissolving the board. Why is Allina doing this in secret? What does it have to hide? It has a responsibility to taxpayers and the people whose livelihoods depend on Unity.”
“As a district resident and Unity Hospital RN, I am very concerned about a takeover of our hospital,” said MNA nurse Janet Hochule, who lives in Mounds View. “I choose to work at Unity because I want to serve my community as a public health nurse. There is a huge need for a hospital here – it’s a valuable community resource we need to preserve, not destroy.”
The district is meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the Unity Hospital Classroom B. MNA nurses, other Allina employees, and members of the community plan to attend and speak against dissolving the district board.
“We urge the public to join us and stop Allina from exploiting taxpayers and workers in the Unity hospital community,” said Roach. “This is another example of Allina bullying nurses, other employees, and the entire community in the name of profit.”