As negotiations between Yakima Regional Medical and Cardiac Center and its nurses’ union continue, the union has launched an ad campaign against the practices of the hospital and its parent company, Florida-based Health Management Associates.
The introduction of the “Yakima Loves Our Nurses” ads this week intentionally coincides with National Nurses Week, which runs through Sunday.
The TV and online ads feature a nurse who questions whether HMA is focused on patient safety, saying that nurses are the heart of patient care and hospitals need to treat them fairly.
They also bring up last year’s “60 Minutes” investigation that alleged that HMA pressures its doctors to admit more patients than necessary to increase profits.
The nurses at Regional are represented by the Washington State Nurses Association. They have been working without a contract since March 31.
A spokesperson for Regional declined to comment, citing contract negotiations.
Contentious contract negotiations between hospitals and nurses are nothing new in Yakima.
At Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, negotiations begun in November 2010 weren’t finished until spring of 2012, about 18 months later.
The battle prompted many local residents and stores to display purple “We Support Memorial Nurses” signs in their yards and windows.