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News Release
ONA nurses and supporters held a rally outside PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center Riverbend June 7 to raise awareness about staffing issues at Sacred Heart hospitals and home care. Nurses are demanding PeaceHealth executives work with local nurses to improve health care for our community.
ONA nurses and supporters held a rally outside PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center Riverbend June 7 to raise awareness about staffing issues at Sacred Heart hospitals and home care. Nurses are demanding PeaceHealth executives work with local nurses to improve health care for our community.
Media Advisory: Lane County Nurses Leading Info Picket and Rally outside PeaceHealth, Nov. 29 (Photo) - 11/28/23

Home care and hospice nurses are fighting for a fair contract to address record turnover and job vacancies.

(Eugene, Ore.) - Dozens of local nurses, health care providers, elected officials and community supporters are leading an informational picket and rally outside PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services offices in downtown Eugene Wednesday, Nov. 29 from 5 - 7 p.m. Home health and hospice nurses are demanding PeaceHealth address its growing home care staffing crisis and compensate nurses equitably to meet the community's increasing health needs.

Sacred Heart Home Care nurses travel to patients’ homes to provide vital medical and end-of-life care for residents throughout Lane County. After almost a year of unsuccessful contract bargaining with PeaceHealth, dozens of home care nurses have already left and a staggering one-third of home care nurses plan to leave next year if their contract isn’t resolved equitably.

Frontline nurses working at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services are represented by the Oregon Nurses Association (ONA).

WHAT: Nurse Informational Picket and Public Rally

WHEN: Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023. 5 - 7 p.m.
 
WHERE: Outside PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services offices in downtown Eugene. 
677 E 12th Ave. Eugene, OR 97401

WHO: Home health, home infusion and hospice nurses at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services, along with other health care workers, elected officials and community supporters including Oregon State Senator James Manning, State Representative Julie Fahey, Eugene City Councilors Matt Keating, and Jennifer Yeh as well as other community leaders.

Reporters and media representatives are encouraged to attend this event to capture the stories and voices of frontline home care and hospice nurses and inform the community about record turnover and worsening care conditions.

WHY: Sacred Heart Home Care nurses play an essential, but often unseen, role in our community. No matter where you call home–an urban apartment, rural house in the country or a tent under the freeway–home care nurses meet you where you are to deliver health care you can’t get anywhere else. They help patients return home to continue healing after being hospitalized for traumatic injuries or illnesses. They also assist patients and their families transition into the final stages of life with expert support, care and guidance to give sick and dying individuals dignity and freedom.

Despite their essential work, PeaceHealth has dragged out home care nurses’ contract negotiations for a year and continues to low-ball home care nurses with inequitable compensation which is less than other similar home health agencies and significantly less than PeaceHealth pays Sacred Heart hospital nurses–despite previously paying them equally. 

PeaceHealth’s disrespect towards home care nurses is driving many local nurses to quit–threatening patients’ care and placing an undue burden on the nurses left behind who are forced to take on even more work.  

PeaceHealth’s failure to retain and recruit home care nurses has real impacts for vulnerable patients who are experiencing delays and a loss of service. PeaceHealth was only able to admit 57% of hospital-referred home care patients into its programs in a timely fashion in October. The national average is 95%.

Local nurses are demanding PeaceHealth executives in Vancouver come to the table to reach a fair contract agreement that enables them to recruit and retain the highly skilled and valuable nurses who care for some of the most complex home care patients in the state.

Nurses have been bargaining for a new contract since January 2023. PeaceHealth allowed nurses’ contract to expire in April 2023 and has refused to reach an agreement with home care nurses despite coming to terms with local hospital nurses at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center in August. 

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 17,000 nurses and allied health workers throughout the state, including 1,500 frontline nurses at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center and Sacred Heart Home Care Services. ONA’s mission is to advocate for nursing, quality health care and healthy communities. For more information visit: www.OregonRN.org.

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