Nurses’ Union Condemns Rose Room Closure

The Maine State Nurses Association/National Nurses United (MSNA/NNU) condemned Calais Regional Hospital’s (CRH) recent announcement that it will be closing the “Rose Room,” a facility that serves local cancer patients on an outpatient basis. This move will force vulnerable and ill patients to travel at least 40 miles to receive the life-saving care that CRH will no longer provide for them, say nurses.

Nurses say Quorum Health Resources (QHR) which manages CRH, is draining away hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in profits that go to shareholders, which should be used for vital patient care and services. MSNA continues to demand that Calais Regional Hospital Board of Directors end their contract with QHR so that resources can be spent on patient care.

“This is just one more example of how the decisions being made by the top management of Calais Regional Hospital are hurting local people who seek care at this facility,” said MSNA President and Registered Nurse Cokie Giles. “The hospital claims in its own mission statement that it values compassion, but management actions run counter to that claim. How is closing a facility that serves cancer patients compassionate? Nurses and the staff at this hospital provide the best care they can under these circumstances, but it seems to get more difficult every day.”

This move follows CRH’s closure of its OB/GYN department last summer, a move that left Calais residents feeling “neglected” and that the MSNA/NNU also condemned as dangerous.

According to public documents, Calais Regional Hospital pays nearly one million dollars per year to Quorum Health Resources (QHR), an out-of-state, for-profit hospital management company. Rod Boula, the CEO of Calais Regional Hospital, is a direct employee of Quorum Health Resources. QHR is owned by Quorum Health Corporation (QHC) which owns hospitals across the country. QHC ended the third quarter of 2017 with a net loss of $29.2 million on revenues of $499.3 million. Now QHC is trying to sell hospitals it owns across the country to pay down their debts.

“Why is Calais Regional Hospital spending so much money on their out-of-state management company when they can’t pay their own bills at home? The health of their patients must come first,” asked MSNA President Giles.

Last summer, the Calais City Council took a unanimous vote of “no confidence” in the Board of Trustees of Calais Regional Hospital, calling on them to sever all ties with Quorum Health Resources.

The Maine State Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee is affiliated with National Nurses United, the largest and fastest growing union of registered nurses in the US with more than 150,000 members nationwide.  NNU plays a leadership role in safeguarding the health and safety of RNs and their patients and has won landmark legislation in the areas of staffing, safe patient handling, infectious disease and workplace violence prevention.