Beverly Nurses’ Candlelight Vigil and Food Drive Shines a Light On Patient Care

December 2011

Beverly Nurses, community activists, and concerned citizens held a candlelight vigil last night to call attention to the practices that have lowered the standard of care at Beverly Hospital.

"We're nurses," said Veronica Arellano, Telemetry RN. "Every day we walk through the doors of Beverly Hospital, we bring the desire to ease pain, to help heal, and to provide top-notch care. But we can't do that, because management won't do the right thing."

Hospital management, led by CEO Gary Kiff, has implemented a hands off policy of neglect that has left nurses without the proper support and resources they need to provide appropriate levels of care. While staffing levels have drifted below state-set standards, management has been left in the hands of a Chief Operating Officer based in Arizona and a Chief Financial Officer based in Hawaii.

Meanwhile, the nurses have sought improvements through contract negotiations. But Kiff has left matters in the hands of an expensive attorney with a reputation for union-busting, not problem-solving.

"Beverly Hospital had a choice," said Susan Justin, ICU RN. "They could have sat down with their nurses and addressed the issues. Instead they took the money that should go towards patient care and handed it off to a pricey attorney. It's not too late to turn it around. That's why we're out here tonight."

The nurses and their supporters accompanied the candlelight vigil with a food drive. Collected food was donated to needy families in the Montebello area through Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church and St. Benedict Catholic Church.

See a photo gallery from the event.