Latest Strike News

Saint Vincent Hospital Marks Another Day of Quality Care

Mar 9, 2021

Operations Continue on First Day of Strike

Worcester, MA – March 9, 2021– Despite a strike by the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) that began Monday, Saint Vincent Hospital continued to provide safe, quality care, assisted by dozens of nurses who crossed the picket line throughout the day.

A total of 115 Saint Vincent Hospital nurses – almost 15 percent of the nursing staff -- chose to come to work rather than strike. They joined replacement registered nurses to continue to care for their patients at the hospital.

“We want to thank all our caregivers, including the nurses who made the decision to put patients first by crossing the MNA picket line to take care of our community,” said Saint Vincent CEO Carolyn Jackson. “We especially recognize the bravery of the nurses who crossed the picket line for taking this important stand. It sends a strong message to the MNA that not all nurses are in support of this strike.”

Several metrics throughout the day indicated a high level of continuing care:

  • The hospital cared for more than 200 inpatients and hundreds of outpatients without any safety events.
  • The hospital did not cancel any scheduled surgeries or procedures due to the strike, and both inpatient and outpatient services continued as usual.
  • The Emergency Department received ambulances and walk-in patients, just as it does every day, and we even accepted several transfers from other hospitals.
  • Cardiac catheterizations, endoscopies, biopsies, joint replacements, robotic surgeries and even a repair of an ascending aortic aneurysm (AAA) occurred in a high-quality manner.
“Despite the absence of our regular nursing staff, we continued the quality care for which we are known with no disruption,” said Lisa Beaudry, Chief Nursing Officer of the hospital. “We had detailed contingency plans in place for the strike, and the team worked efficiently to implement them. No quality or safety issues were reported. We continue to be open for business and ready to provide quality care for the community.”

Observers from the state Department of Public Health and Department of Mental Health were on site Monday to ensure that Saint Vincent continues to maintain appropriate quality and staffing. Hospital officials have been on daily calls with DPH since the strike notice was given to ensure continued compliance with state regulations. The four observers present yesterday communicated to hospital leadership that their visit went well and they left with “no issues.” They will continue to have a presence at Saint Vincent throughout the strike.

“I’m encouraged by the fact that there was no disruption to providing high quality patient care due to the strike,” said Dr. Sowmya Viswanathan, Chief Medical Officer. “Our medical staff was able to continue to care for patients in a high-quality manner. I look forward to the end of the strike, but in the meantime, we’re covered, and will keep providing excellent care to our community.”

Jackson added, “This is an outstanding hospital, with an outstanding safety record. It is now and has always been appropriately staffed. Our operations remain stable, and we have worked hard to provide a great offer and find middle ground on staffing improvements with the MNA, but the union has refused to engage with us on that offer.”