Antelope Valley Valentine’s Day Protest: Kaiser, Have a Heart!

March 2013

UNAC/UHCP members and supporters took to the sidewalks outside the Kaiser Lancaster Medical Offices to protest the planned reduction in hours of the Urgent Care. Starting April 1, Kaiser plans to end Urgent Care in Lancaster beginning at 11 pm, leaving Kaiser members in the Antelope Valley to either go to the excessively overcrowded local Emergency Rooms, or drive over 50 miles to receive the quality care they currently have in Lancaster.

Our members handed out leaflets to the public alerting them to the upcoming service cuts. One Kaiser member was so outraged that she called the office and gave us the following statement to release to the press:

“I would never have stayed with Kaiser had I known they would do this with the Urgent Care. Emergencies and accidents happen 24/7. I have used the Kaiser Lancaster Urgent Care two times in the early morning hours when it will now be closed. Without the 24-hour Urgent Care, the lives of Kaiser members are in jeopardy. I’ve visited people waiting in the Antelope Valley Hospital ER hallway for two days. It’s a nightmare to go over there.

“I’m horrified that Kaiser will be cutting late night hours in the Urgent Care. Kaiser has plenty of money to keep the Urgent Care open. It’s not fair to the patients to cut the Urgent Care hours.”

— Ingrid “Ing” Rosen, Palmdale resident

UNAC/UHCP member Belinda Honeywell, RN at Kaiser Lancaster for the past 10 years, has also had negative experiences in the Antelope Valley ER, “I recently had the opportunity to visit somebody at the ER at Antelope Valley. There were 136 people there, sitting and standing in the halls, waiting for hours. The ER at Antelope Valley is a nightmare, and our Urgent Care is still open! How much more of a nightmare are we creating by closing our Urgent Care at night?”

The Antelope Valley Press and the local Time Warner news station covered the rally. UNAC/UHCP member Michelle Swett was featured on television discussing the negative impact of the urgent care reduction in hours. “It’s going to hurt the community that we’re not 24 hours anymore.” We continue to organize press events and community support measures to keep the pressure on Kaiser to honor the contract and recognize seniority.