SEIU Local 521 members spoke at the Board of Supervisors’ special meeting to highlight the healthcare needs of the community and talk about how important Kern Medical Center (KMC) is to our healthy future. The purpose of the meeting today was to create governance guidelines for Kern Medical Center.
SEIU 521 members and community organizations made sure the board heard our perspectives as front-line workers who deliver direct care and residents who benefit from KMC services.
Carmen Morales, an RN at KMC, said, “There are financial issues at KMC but none of them are insurmountable. Talk about shutting down the hospital is neither realistic nor responsible. Costs today are also investments for the future. As we move forward with this conversation, we hope that we can all agree on one thing – that we will put community first and strengthen KMC for the long term.”
SEIU members were supported by other voices in the community including Jon Van Boening, CEO of Memorial Hospital. He also shared that the Hospital Council of Northern and Central California fully supports the continued support of Kern Medical Center.
Jeff Rockholt, also an RN at KMC, told the Board of Supervisors, “You have in front of you a community that values KMC and knowledgeable people with direct health care experience. Together we must work on the long-term sustainability of one of the county’s greatest resources. This board should invite and welcome the community’s input and expertise as we go forward, making critical decisions that will have lasting consequences for our community.”
The KMC CEO will meet with a committee of rank-and-file members of SEIU to discuss a path forward that includes short-term cuts but also long-term solutions to keep KMC in the community for the next generation.
We need all hands on deck at KMC.
If you’re at KMC and haven’t gotten involved yet, attend our meeting this Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. in Room 1065 and make sure to like our Facebook page at facebook.com/KMC4all to get future updates.