Media Advisory: Healthcare Workers, Neighborhood Groups March for Transparency in Bethesda, St. Joseph Hospital Cuts


Contact:  Rick Fuentes
(o) 651-414-2863
(c) 612-741-0662
Amber Smigiel
(o) 651-414-2849
(c) 651-202-0845

(St. Paul) – December 18, 2019 – Nurses, doctors, healthcare workers, people of faith, and St. Paul neighborhood residents will gather in Mears Park at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, December 19 to demand transparency by M Health Fairview and HealthEast hospitals on cuts to Bethesda and St. Joseph’s hospitals.

Hospital management plans to reduce the number of beds in Bethesda from 89 down to 50 by February 10, 2020 while St. Joseph’s future is in doubt. They previously denied the cuts to the number of beds and staff. Then the story hit the Twin Cities media, and the cuts were announced. HealthEast is currently in negotiations with the Minnesota Nurses Association over the layoff of 70 nurse positions.

A coalition of groups will participate, including MNA, SEIU Healthcare, ISAIAH, Jewish Community Action, The St. Paul Regional Labor Federation, and Our Stories, Our Health. The event, called “Shine a Light,” will start at Mears Park and march through downtown St. Paul to Rice Park.

A link to the Facebook event can be found here or at

When:       December 19, 4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Where:      Staging area at Mears Park, St. Paul, MN
Who:          Mary C. Turner, RN, MNA president
Jim Erlandson, Pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church the Redeemer
Sandie Anderson, RN, Nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital
Susannah Patterson, patient at St. Joseph’s Hospital
What:        Shine A Light march for Bethesda and St. Joseph’s hospitals
Why:         To demand transparency on the plans and reasons for hospital cuts

Note: An ASL interpreter will be present for the speakers’ program.