Morale Plummets at Putnam Hospital After 11 Nurses Laid Off
On April 7, 11 nurses at Putnam Hospital in Carmel, NY, were told they no longer had a job, including a 30-year veteran. Most of the laid-off nurses worked in the surgical services unit.
According to the Rockland/Westchester Journal News, Nurse Maura Rooney, the local bargaining unit's Vice President told the news outlet that everyone's mood went from "hero to zero." Here's how she summed it up;
"The morale of the hospital right now is in like disbelief, "And so low, because we did everything that we could possibly do for our community and the hospital. We were heroes. Now they're laying us off."
Putnam Hospital is owned by Nuvance Health who also owns Danbury, New Milford, Sharon, and Norwalk Hospitals. According to tapinto.net, back in July of 2020, New York Senator Chuck Schumer asked the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to deliver emergency funding for the cash-strapped hospital.
Between March and June of 2020, Putnam Hospital had approximately 300 patients with COVID-19 and experienced unprecedented budget shortfalls of $21,395, 814 in losses. Hospital president Peter Kelly claims that HHS has been financially ignoring Putnam Hospital while surrounding hospitals have received significant funding.
Putnam Hospital President Dr. Mark Hirko told the Journal News that patient volume is down. To ensure future success, they had no other option but to "implement position reductions," which is a corporate term for "you're fired". As a nurse, Maura Rooney put it, "From Hero to Zero."