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PeaceHealth employees speak out after bargaining meeting

Forty positions are affected by the layoffs.

Posted: Feb 3, 2020 6:17 PM
Updated: Feb 4, 2020 11:51 AM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Obstetric technicians and other PeaceHealth employees attended a bargaining meeting Monday following the announcement of layoffs planned for the end of February.

Some employees spoke to KEZI about how the meeting went and how they are feeling since last week after another round of layoffs has hit PeaceHealth.

PeaceHealth spokeswoman Anne Williams confirmed that 40 positions are affected. The positions are across the PeaceHealth Oregon network, which includes four hospitals in Lane County, company officials said.

"We have no idea what's going to happen after these layoffs and how the labor and delivery floor is going to cope with such short staff," said Lorna Kennedy, OB tech at PeaceHealth. 

Kennedy said not only are they concerned for their own futures -- because they will be out of jobs -- they are more concerned with patient safety.  

"We cannot provide great care with short staffing," Kennedy said. 

Another employee, who wanted to remain anonymous, voiced her concerns. 

"It seems like in the past three or four years there have been so many different layoffs, and they don't want to talk to anybody. The management isn't having any kind of communication with what is going on behind the scenes," said the OB tech. 

PeaceHealth responded to the comments made by employees, saying: "Decisions that impact caregivers are among the most difficult decisions we make. It is a step we take only after thoughtful and thorough deliberation and a review of all alternatives."

The following is a statement from PeaceHealth:

“In order to support the highest level of patient safety and quality, the leadership at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend has decided to fully transition to a model where certified surgical technologists support our Labor & Delivery suites – in alignment with legislative changes put into place by Gov. Kate Brown. Certified surgical technologists complete an accredited educational program and maintain surgical technologist certification – making this a best practice. Prior to this change, our Labor & Delivery surgical suites have predominantly been staffed using obstetrical technicians who met criteria outlined by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), as well as registered nurses and certified surgical technologists. Our new surgical technologist model will meet the standards of the Association of peri-Operative Registered Nurses (AORN) and the highest level of regulations as set forth by the Oregon Health Authority, as reflected by HB 2876.

PeaceHealth RiverBend nursing has begun a journey to become American Nurses Association Magnet designated, a commitment to excellence in professional nursing practice and excellence in patient care. Most recently, PeaceHealth RiverBend was awarded an “A” by Leapfrog for patient safety and four stars by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS) for quality, patient safety and patient experience - demonstrating our deep commitment to serving our patients and the community with the highest quality of care in the safest possible way.”

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