June 04, 2020
From day one, HCA Healthcare has addressed the pandemic with two clear objectives. The first, to protect our people—keep them safe and keep them employed—so they can care for our patients. The second, to protect the company so we can continue to serve our communities for years to come. At a time when hundreds of hospitals across the country are laying off and furloughing caregivers because there is no work for them due to significant declines in patient volume, HCA Healthcare has not laid off or furloughed a single caregiver due to the pandemic and we hope to avoid doing so in the future. In fact, we have continued to pay employees for whom we have no work 70 percent of their base pay. To date, we have spent $138 million on pay continuation programs, providing continued paychecks to more than 120,000 colleagues, including 16,000 union members even though it is not part of their contract. Colleagues throughout our organization are forgoing wage increases, and our executive leadership, corporate and division colleagues and hospital CEOs, CFOs, CMOs, CNOs, and COOs have taken pay cuts of 10 to 30 percent. We asked our unions to forgo their raises, as well, to maintain continuation pay for their members, and they refused. As a result, while the pay continuation program will continue for most of our colleagues, it will end June 6 for most colleagues represented by a union. While we hope to continue to avoid layoffs, the unions’ decisions have made that more difficult for our facilities that are unionized.
Regarding PPE, HCA Healthcare has been doing everything in our power to protect our colleagues and patient care teams throughout the pandemic and equip them to provide safe, effective care to our patients by following or exceeding CDC protocols. The pandemic has strained the worldwide supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks, face shields and gowns, a challenge that is not unique to HCA Healthcare or any other health system in the U.S. Despite that, we have provided appropriate PPE, including a universal masking policy implemented in March requiring all staff in all areas to wear masks, including N95s, in line with CDC guidance. While our hospitals currently have adequate supplies of PPE, we continue to provide safeguards that are consistent with CDC guidelines and help ensure the protection of our colleagues, not only today, but into the future as the pandemic evolves.
We also think it’s important that The New York Times recognizes the context of the national PPE shortage and notes that organizations such as the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, the FDA and the American Nurses Association and others have raised concerns about the national shortage of PPE. In addition, the CDC has provided guidance, which has been endorsed by the ANA, about the extended use of PPE. Please see the links below:
FDA says “the need for personal protective equipment (PPE), such as surgical masks, surgical and isolation gowns, and surgical suits, may outpace the supply available to healthcare organization during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.”
Our goal since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has been to protect our colleagues so our caregivers are able to continue to care for our patients and communities. As this crisis has evolved, we have continued to evolve to meet the challenges.
Statement by Research Medical Center about the passing of Celia Yap-Banago:
We are heartbroken by the passing of Celia Yap-Banago, a 40 year veteran nurse. It is difficult to put into words what Celia meant to our hospital and to the countless number of patients she cared for. Her impact on the nursing profession and to those whom she worked with will be everlasting due to the mentorship, training, support and guidance she provided our colleagues. We offer our deepest sympathies to her family and friends, and all whom she blessed along the way.
Statement by Riverside Community Hospital about the passing of Rosa Luna:
Riverside Community Hospital is devastated by this loss. Rosa Luna was part of this hospital for the better part of 25 years and served as a Certified Nursing Assistant and more recently in our Environmental Services Department. Our thoughts go out to her family as well as to the community; she will be severely missed. In honor of her memory the hospital hosted a vigil on May 8th; leadership and Rosa’s colleagues were able to reminisce regarding Rosa’s contributions to the hospital and their fondest memories. To further honor her memory the hospital’s Auxiliary group established a scholarship in Rosa’s name for those community members who would like to follow in Rosa’s path and become a Certified Nursing Assistant. Rosa’s family shared that she was proud to recently receive her 25 year employee pin; in turn the hospital was proud to call her a member of this team for so long.