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A letter from the Saint Vincent Hospital Governing Board

Mar 2, 2021
As members of the Saint Vincent Hospital governing board, we proudly serve the residents of Central Massachusetts. We are troubled by the current situation between the Hospital and the Massachusetts Nurses Association that has led to the MNA calling for a strike starting March 8. Such a step seems too severe during a pandemic when we need to focus on caring for our community.

We are inspired by the heroic bravery shown by the Saint Vincent Hospital team during the pandemic, and we are grateful for their dedication and hard work. For almost an entire year, frontline workers have reported to work day after day to fight COVID-19 and help save lives. During this time, the hospital never ran out of personal protective equipment, continuously implemented rigorous COVID SAFETY standards and increased access to vaccinations.

We are proud that quality of care and patient safety is always a top priority at Saint Vincent Hospital. Our staffing guidelines, negotiated with the MNA in prior contracts, are better than most other hospitals in Massachusetts and have improved over time. Our quality is highly rated as assessed by national independent third-party quality organizations, such as Leapfrog, which rated our patient safety “A” for multiple years. We consistently perform better than expected compared to the national average in multiple quality measures for hospital acquired infections and mortality rates. We also actively monitor and adapt our performance expectations to continuously improve our quality.

In fact, US News and World Report recognized Saint Vincent Hospital in their 2020-2021 rankings as a Best Regional Hospital. SVH also is ranked as the 8th best hospital in Massachusetts, which also represents a tie for the best community hospital in the state. In addition, many of our services received a “high performer” recognition, which signifies that the care provided was significantly better than the national average, as measured by factors such as patient outcomes.

This solid record of quality is a testament to the leadership of our CEO, Carolyn Jackson, and her team. They act with integrity, are an advocate for our patients, staff, and clinicians, and have navigated our hospital through an unprecedented year. We have confidence in Carolyn and the hospital leadership to continue to guide us through the pandemic and beyond.

We remain hopeful that the MNA will reconsider its plans to strike. On behalf of their members, and the patients we all serve, we ask that they work with Saint Vincent Hospital to put this disagreement behind us and move forward together, for the health and wellness of our community. Saint Vincent Hospital remains ready to reach an amicable agreement.

Sincerely,
Saint Vincent Hospital Board of Trustees