ONA goes public with staffing problems at Springfield hospital

Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) is ramping up a campaign over safe staffing at a Springfield hospital run by the non-profit PeaceHealth chain. The union gets more complaints about staffing from members at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend than from any other hospital in Oregon.

ONA ad on PeaceHealthFor more than two years, nurses have complained to Riverbend hospital administrators about staffing levels, and ONA spent over 200 hours discussing it during contract negotiations this year. The union says the problem stems from a decision to cut staff, even as the Riverbend hospital made a record $43.5 million profit last year.

From June 2013 to June 2014, ONA members at Riverbend documented 272 instances of delayed or omitted medical treatment, 210 instances of missed pain management, and 247 cases in which patient hygiene was delayed or omitted — because of understaffing.

Now the union is going public, with an online petition and web site, Facebook page, and ads that ran Thanksgiving week in Eugene Weekly, Eugene Register-Guard, and Springfield Times.

The campaign is sparking local news coverage, and even led to a public scolding of management by the biggest local newspaper: After meeting with nurses, the Register-Guard editorial board urged hospital administrators to address their complaints in an editorial published Dec. 5.

1 Comment on ONA goes public with staffing problems at Springfield hospital

  1. PeaceHealth sucks! Ever since they made the megers, SW Washington Medical Center has gone downhill. How does a “non-profit” show a “profit?” Isn’t that money supposed to go right back into the facility?

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