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News Release
Oregon Nurses Lead Candlelight Vigil to Protest Legacy's Plan to Close the Family Birth Center Closure at Legacy Mount Hood, March 17 - 03/16/23

Legacy executives’ plan to close the Family Birth Center would cut access to women’s health care for thousands of underserved families in East Multnomah and Clackamas Counties. 

Gresham, Ore - Registered nurses, elected officials and local families will hold a candlelight vigil and media availability Friday, March 17 to call on Legacy Health executives to reverse course and save the Family Birth Center at Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center. Despite near-universal opposition from frontline health care workers, local families, elected officials, and community advocates–and without approval from the Oregon Health Authority–Legacy executives have said they plan to stop accepting patients to the family birth center on March 17 at 11:59 p.m. 

The Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) issued the following statement upon receiving confirmation that the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has not approved Legacy Health’s controversial plan to close the Family Birth Center:
Legacy has been given a gift. It has another chance to do the right thing. Nurses, families, and community leaders from all walks of life have been crying out for Legacy to reverse its hasty decision and work with us to save the family birth center. OHA’s announcement buys Legacy more time to listen to its community and protect health care access for thousands of families in East Multnomah and Clackamas Counties. 

The family birth center is Oregonians’ only hospital birthplace option in Gresham–Oregon’s 4th largest city–and the closest option for thousands of underserved families in East Multnomah and Clackamas Counties. Doctors and nurses there deliver and care for more than 750 babies and families a year, providing emergency and non-emergency OB-GYN services and triage for more acute OB-GYN patients than any other Legacy hospital.

Originally founded in part with community funds, the birth center serves nearly 275,000 people in East Multnomah and Clackamas Counties including historically underserved neighborhoods with some of the highest concentrations of poverty in Oregon. “At a time when women’s health is already under attack, it is irresponsible for Legacy to close the door on these women,” said Ginny Moyer, a labor & delivery nurse at Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center. “The choice by Legacy administration to close the Family Birth Center and remove OB-GYN physicians from the patient care model is unsafe, hazardous and irresponsible. Per Legacy’s mission statement: ‘Our mission is for good health for our people, our patients, our communities and our world. Above all, we will do the right thing.’ Legacy administration, this is not the right thing,” said Teddy Glemser, emergency department charge nurse at Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center and a Family Birth Center patient.

WHO/WHAT: Nurses and health care workers, local and state elected officials, patients, families and community members will hold a candlelight vigil to draw attention to the imminent closure of the Family Birth Center
WHEN: Friday, March 17 at 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Outside Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center, 24800 SE Stark St, Gresham, OR 97030

In addition to their work to save the family birth center, frontline nurses at Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center filed for a union election to join the Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) on March 6. Nurses cited a need to unionize to protect patients’ access to safe, high-quality health care; restore respect for frontline workers; and gain a voice in decisions that affect their community’s health and welfare.  

Legacy Health is a multi-billion dollar private health system that operates six hospitals and more than 70 clinics in the Portland-Vancouver metro area and mid-Willamette Valley. While many companies posted losses during the pandemic; Legacy profited. It made more than $400 million in profits from 2020-2022 including nearly $100 million in taxpayer bailouts via the CARES Act. Prior to the pandemic, Legacy’s hospital profits averaged between $44 million to $79 million per year from 2007-2019. Legacy also holds more than $1 billion in its investment portfolio. 

The Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) is the state’s largest and most influential nursing organization. We are a professional association and labor union which represents more than 15,000 nurses and allied health workers throughout the state. ONA’s mission is to advocate for nursing, quality health care and healthy communities. For more information visit: www.OregonRN.org.

Local nurses, elected leaders, patients and families led a rally to Save the Family Birth Center at Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center Feb. 13. The family birth center is Oregonians’ only hospital birthplace option in Gresham–Oregon’s 4th largest city–and the closest option for thousands of underserved families in East Multnomah and Clackamas Counties.
Pick a photo: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/lurdkl93f8a1lbo/AAAyRsd5k0WESAFExpGgxil7a?dl=0 
 

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