News & Events

Statement from Massachusetts Nurses Association on COVID-19 Commitments from Steward Healthcare

CANTON, MA — RNs and healthcare professionals represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) have reacted positively to overtures made by Steward Healthcare to improve direct communication as well as to improve PPE availability at Massachusetts Steward hospitals.

Last Wednesday the company announced that it moved to single use of and protective gowns and will move to single use of masks in all facilities, which is in keeping with the standard of PPE usage required prior to the pandemic surge and the standard advocated for by the MNA.

The company also reached out to establish formal regular meetings with MNA elected front line nurse and healthcare professional representatives and senior leadership from the company, making the St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center the first priority and moving in parallel to establish similar discussions in the other hospitals.  St. Elizabeth’s, an academic teaching hospital affiliated with Tufts Medical School, is the system’s flagship hospital in the state.

The company also agreed last week to extend through mid-October job guarantees and protections to MNA-represented staff members who need to remove themselves from the hospitals because they or people with whom they live have medical issues making them higher risk for COVID-19 exposures.

According to MNA President Donna Kelly-Williams, “This new engagement and promised commitment to non-reuse of PPE and improved supply comes as welcome news.”

“We appreciate the constructive tone of the new engagement, and we are hopeful for the possibilities of the future dialogue,” said MNA Board member and St. Elizabeth’s Emergency Department RN, Ellen MacInnis.

In a letter to Massachusetts staff regarding PPE the evening of June 17, Steward’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Joseph Weinstein, wrote [Our] “greatest asset is the talented hard-working and exceptional employees who put our patients first and who provide compassionate, high quality care.  I could not be more grateful for your efforts.  Thank you for your efforts on behalf of our communities.”

The MNA represents more than 3,000 registered nurses and health professionals working at Steward hospitals across the Commonwealth, including Carney Hospital in Dorchester, Holy Family Hospitals in Haverhill and Methuen, Morton Hospital in Taunton, Nashoba Valley Medical Center in Ayer, Norwood Hospital and Steward St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton.