Statement by Massachusetts Nurses Association Local Bargaining Units for Registered Nurses at UMass Memorial Medical center Regarding the Announcement of the Retirement Of UMMMC CEO John O’Brien
WORCESTER, MA -- The nurses have serious concerns about the current state of affairs at UMass Memorial Medical Center and what it means for the legacy of John O’Brien. In recent months, the system was embarrassed by news of a disgraceful scandal involving a scheme to defraud insurance companies and mislead the public, which has resulted in nearly a million dollars in fines and untold millions of dollars in payments to insurers. To pay for this scandal, Mr. O’Brien has engaged in deep cuts to hospital staffing levels, and is seeking to sell off our much needed home health and hospice services, all of which will degrade the care our patients receive. He is also entering contract negotiations with the 2,000 nurses at the Worcester-based facilities, seeking to make dangerous changes to our working conditions, while threatening to cut nurses’ pension and health care benefits. We hope that in the coming months Mr. O'Brien will change the course he has set for this system, will work with staff to restore a sense of pride in this system, and will make a commitment to quality patient care and to show respect for the people that deliver that care.