Alarmed about safety decline, nurses at McMinnville hospital file for a union

Nurses at Willamette Valley Medical Center in McMinnville are campaigning to form a union.

After organizing with the Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) for the past year, on Nov. 22 they asked the National Labor Relations Board to hold a union election. ONA says more than 131 nurses signed union authorization cards —about three-fourths of the hospital’s roughly 175 nurses.

Situated off Oregon Route 18 across from Chemeketa Community College, Willamette Valley Medical Center is a 60-bed acute-care hospital that includes an emergency room, a birthing center, and a cancer center. It’s also one of just two for-profit hospitals in Oregon.

ONA says safety has dropped dramatically at Willamette Valley since the hospital was acquired by Tennessee-based LifePoint Health last year. The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit health industry watchdog group, rated Willamette Valley Medical Center the worst out of 31 Oregon hospitals for safety, giving it a “D” grade in its Fall 2019 report. That’s down from an “A” grade as recently as Spring of 2018.

One of the factors in the report: Not enough qualified nurses.

“We need a strong, collective voice to advocate for our patients and improve safety throughout the hospital,” said Willamette Valley nurse Corey Mertz in a union press statement.

2 Comments on Alarmed about safety decline, nurses at McMinnville hospital file for a union

  1. I have heard that that hospital is not so great, go to Providence in Newburg. Should not have to do that.

  2. Used to work at WVMC, I’ve been concerned for awhile about the staff patient ratio. Support these nurses 100%….Patients are more important that someone’s bottom line!

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