Casey: Patient Care Must Be a Priority in Hospital Workforce Negotiations

Senator Urges Fair and Fast Negotiations in Wilkes-Barre Dispute

Casey: Patient Care Must Be a Priority in Hospital Workforce Negotiations

Washington, DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), urged that patient care remain a top priority in workforce negotiations at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.  In a letter, Casey highlighted the skilled healthcare workforce in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and called for a fair resolution as soon as possible.

“All parties must work collaboratively to ensure that patient care remains the top priority and that negotiations move forward as soon as practicable,” wrote Senator Casey.  “We are fortunate to have an excellent skilled medical workforce in Northeastern Pennsylvania and I know maintaining that level of quality medical personnel is a goal we share.”

The text of Senator Casey’s letter is below:

Mr. Cornelio Catena

CEO

Wilkes-Barre General Hospital

575 North River Street

Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 18764

Dear Mr. Catena:

The Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals (PASNAP) recently contacted my office to express their concerns regarding current contract negotiations at Community Health Systems’ Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. 

As you know, PASNAP represents more than 400 nurses at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.  I know that you share my belief that patient safety is of paramount importance in the delivery of health care.  To that end, all parties must work collaboratively to ensure that patient care remains the top priority and that negotiations move forward as soon as practicable.  We are fortunate to have an excellent skilled medical workforce in Northeastern Pennsylvania and I know maintaining that level of quality medical personnel is a goal we share.  Negotiations moving forward therefore should place an emphasis on the fair and equitable treatment of members of your workforce and should ensure that patient care is not in any way compromised. 

As this process moves to the next phase, I urge you to work with PASNAP to ensure a resolution is reached as quickly and as fairly as possible.  Thank you in advance for your attention to this important matter.  If you have any questions please feel free to contact me directly or have your staff contact my office.

Sincerely,

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

United States Senator

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