Contact: Rick Fuentes
(St. Paul) – October 17, 2020 – MNA nurses will be delivering demands to the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners regarding MHealth Fairview’s plans to lease Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul to the county on Monday, October 19, at 4 p.m.
The proposal is part of the plans MHealth Fairview recently announced to close Bethesda hospital, the only COVID-19 specialty hospital in the area, as well as critically necessary community clinics and other services at St. Joseph’s hospital. They are using the COVID-19 crisis as a cover to justify the elimination of vital healthcare services to the St. Paul community, and these plans will also create the loss of hundreds of jobs.
Ramsey County has indicated that they are interested in leasing Bethesda Hospital to turn it into a transitional shelter for unhoused people. The Board will meet to vote on the proposal on Tuesday, October 20, at 9 a.m.
“We support any real effort to provide housing for the homeless,” said Melissa Kadrmas, a Registered Nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital. “However, we don’t trust MHealth Fairview, and we worry that their ill-thought-out plan is to provide them cover for closing a facility, laying-off nurses, and eliminating key services. We are interested in seeing long term results, not just a bandage.”
MNA nurses will deliver their demands to the Board in an effort to strengthen the planned lease so that MHealth Fairview cannot leave Ramsey County in the lurch. The demands would provide some accountability, transparency, and security to ensure that moving forward, patients, the community, nurses, and other workers aren’t further devastated by this closure; and that MHealth Fairview holds up their end of the deal and their word that this is about patients and not profits.
When: Monday, October 19 at 4 p.m.
Where: St. Paul City Hall
15 West Kellogg Blvd St. Paul, MN 55102
Who: MNA nurses who are concerned about MHealth Fairview’s plans to lease Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul to Ramsey County
What: Delivery of demands
Why: To demand accountability from MHealth Fairview and the Ramsey County
Commissioners for sustainable and long-term solutions that serve the St. Paul community
Note: The program will take place outside, where nurses and attendees will practice 6 feet of social distancing. Additionally, for reporters who are uncomfortable attending the event in person or who are themselves practicing self-quarantine measures, the event will be streaming here: https://www.facebook.com/MinnesotaNurses/