September 24, 2019

Around the nation: 2,200 University of Chicago Medical Center nurses went on strike last Friday

Daily Briefing

    The strike lasted one day, Friday, but temporary nurses will stay on the job in place of University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC) union nurses until Wednesday under the contract UCMC has with the temporary staffing agency, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, Illinois, and Michigan.

    • California: Staff at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital performed an organ walk to honor 13-year-old Isabel Prado, who elected to donate her organs before she died after being on life support for weeks due to a rare genetic mutation that affected brain development. For the honor walk, the patient is brought through the hospital corridors on a hospital bed, while doctors, nurses, and other staff line the halls. Honoring patients such as Prado is one way staff can show "respect" and "support" for organ donors, according to Julie Fluitt, nurse educator for the hospital's pediatric ICU (Dador, ABC7, 9/21)

    • Illinois: About 2,200 nurses at the University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC) walked off the job on Friday in a strike organized by the National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United. The hospital said negotiations between it and the nurses union fell apart last Wednesday over the question of incentive pay for future applicants. However, Marti Smith, midwest director of the union, said the talks unraveled because of a disagreement regarding overtime and staffing issues that nurses say affect patient safety. UCMC CMO Stephen Weber disputed the nurses' claim about staffing safety, saying, "The benchmarks show that nurse staffing is not our challenge." The strike lasted one day, Friday, but temporary nurses will stay on the job in place of UCMC union nurses until Wednesday under the contract UCMC has with the temporary staffing agency. (National Nurses United release, 9/10; Haefner, Becker's Hospital Review, 9/20; Ellis/Parks, CNN, 9/20; Shencker, Chicago Tribune, 9/20).

    • Michigan: University of Michigan in fall 2024 plans to open a $920 million, 264 bed hospital. Michigan Medicine officials said the new, 12-story hospital will be the most advanced medical center in Michigan and will specialize in neurological, neurosurgical, cardiovascular, and thoracic care (Greene, Modern Healthcare, 9/20).

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