Don’t overlook needs of Sanford Worthington Hospital

This blog is an excerpt from a Letter to the Editor written by four MNA nurses and published in the Worthington Globe newspaper. MNA members across Minnesota are speaking out in opposition to the proposed Sanford/Fairview merger.

To the Editor:

The recent delay of the Sanford/Fairview merger and letter from Sanford Worthington CEO Jennifer Weg prompted us, a group of retired Sanford Worthington nurses, to write.  Some of us were at the Jan. 25 meeting held in Worthington, hosted by the Minnesota Attorney General’s office.

While we agree with the numerous Sanford Worthington managers and others who enthusiastically praised Sanford’s contribution to the community, we, as former employees, are perplexed by the lack of attention given to Sanford Worthington hospital itself. (Sanford can afford its community contributions — the previous CEO was given a $49 million package when he abruptly resigned, according to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.)

Since purchased by Sanford, numerous hospital departments have been closed with duties shifted to other employees or assumed by Sanford employees in Sioux Falls, including Social Services, Employee Health, local HR and the Education Department. The behavioral Health unit was closed some time ago without warning to staff, including the psychiatrist.

A currently employed Sanford Worthington registered nurse made these comments at the January 25th meeting, “We no longer have enough trained nurses to staff the Intensive Care Unit regularly. We have lost many experienced nurses, which are very important to a small hospital. Current staff always feel ‘on edge.’ Can we care for the next patient who walks in the door, do we have enough nurses to care for the patients we do have?

Read the full letter here