PARAMUS, N.J.-Nurses at 1,039-bed Bergen Regional Medical Center went on strike last week after reaching an impasse on staffing ratios, salaries and pension benefits. The action involves some 425 nurses represented by Health Professionals and Allied Employees, or HPAE. Bergen Regional has brought in more than 100 replacement nurses, according to HPAE. The strike was "the last straw. We wouldn't have done this unless we felt certain that the quality of care was in jeopardy because of the hospital's refusal to address the shortage of nurses and other healthcare workers," the union said in a news release. Five other New Jersey hospitals whose workers are represented by HPAE reached contract agreements before a May 31 strike deadline. Hospital officials said in a taped message that the walkout had no impact on services and that they would continue to negotiate with the union in good faith.
NEW HAVEN, Conn.-Yale-New Haven Hospital said last week that it is in the preliminary stages of planning a comprehensive cancer center, requesting state approval for a $19.9 million site preparation proposal that would tear down an existing building, relocate major utilities, and provide funding for architectural and program planning. Assuming the certificate of need is approved, the board would not move on plans to develop clinical services at the site before the fall, said Vincent Petrini, a Yale-New Haven spokesman. "We envision if we were to move forward with construction, it would be a comprehensive cancer center," he said. Recently the hospital has experienced exceptional growth, projecting to discharge more than 47,000 hospital patients this year compared with 39,000 in 1999, he said.
BUFFALO, N.Y.-The board of directors of the Erie County Medical Center voted unanimously May 27 to end the tenure of Roger Kaiser as the hospital's chief executive officer, the Associated Press reported. Board member Joseph Zizzi Sr. was installed as acting CEO. Zizzi, director of clinical pharmacology at the medical center, previously served as acting director in 1980 and from 1984 to 1986. The move to terminate Kaiser's contract came after board members learned he might have helped the medical center's chief operating officer a job with another healthcare company.