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Registered Nurses to Picket Sutter Health Event Featuring Dr. Deepak Chopra, March 2nd

Friday, February 22, 2008 General News J E 4
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SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 21 Registered nurses from nearly adozen Sutter Health hospitals throughout Northern California will protestSunday, March 2nd outside a Sutter Health marketing and fundraising event thatwill feature Dr. Deepak Chopra, a celebrity physician and expert inintegrative medicine.

The RNs, represented by the California Nurses Association/National NursesOrganizing Committee, charge that Sutter Health, one of California's largesthospital chains, is attempting to use Chopra's fame to distract from itspattern of serious deficiencies in patient care and patient safety.

"Sutter is preaching about healing and caring at the same time that theyare actually endangering patients with their heartless policies," said JonicaBrooks, a Sutter RN who is also an Ayurvedic counselor. "They don't needhigh-dollar PR events, they need to get serious about caring for the patientsin these facilities."

What: Registered Nurses Picket Sutter Health Event Featuring Deepak Chopra

When: Sun. March 2, 5:00-6:00 p.m.

Where: Westin St. Francis Hotel, 359 Powell St. @ Geary

The Chopra event is a $300 per ticket evening called, "Celebrating Science& Soul," sponsored by Sutter's Institute on Health & Healing.

The nurse protest of the event comes on the heels of two of the largestnurses' strikes this nation has ever seen, with 5,000 RNs at thirteen Sutterhospitals walking out in October and December 2007. An outlier amongCalifornia hospitals, Sutter is known for:-- Endangering patients by refusing to commit to safe RN staffing at all times, such as during legally-mandated meal and rest breaks for nurses; -- Engaging in "medical redlining"-or dumping patient populations in medically-underserved communities of color-by attempting to close St. Luke's Hospital, San Leandro Hospital, and Sutter Santa Rosa Medical Center; -- Abusing its charity care responsibilities by providing less care than at other chains and at a lower level than the non-profit tax breaks received; -- And offering sub-standard benefits packages to its nurses, including proposals for nurse health security, medical benefits, and pension improvements that are unsatisfactory to RNs and inferior to CNA standards established in contracts with Kaiser Permanente and other facilities.

SOURCE California Nurses Association
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