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Action alert: Rally for Braddock, PA community hospital

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Braddock UPMC USW may seek injunction

The United Steelworkers Union USW is hoping for a big turnout on Thursday November 19 at the Save Our Community Hospitals Rally in Braddock, PA. The rally will take place at 2:00 PM at Fifth and Braddock Ave.

An eblast to members read, "We need HUNDREDS, No THOUSANDS of people in the streets of Braddock on Thursday, Nov. 19 DEMANDING THAT OUR HOSPITAL STAY OPEN and community hospitals throughout the U.S.A. stay open."

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Submitted by hipparchia on

but it looks like a few hundred turned out for the rally and 100 attended a community meeting and there's a petition drive to try to get an injunction to stop the closing of the hospital.

if we elect elizabeth warren for president, can we have naomi klein for vice president? disaster capitalism strikes again:

UPMC is a global health corporation with facilities in Italy, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Qatar, and Cyprus. The 2,700 residents of the borough have no easy access to another health facility. Not only is UPMC Braddock the largest employer in the borough, with 652 employees, it also has Braddock's only restaurant -- the hospital cafeteria -- and the town's only ATM.


“UPMC claims to be concerned about our communities. It has operating revenues of $2 billion and gets tens of millions of dollars in public funding. We want public hearings to determine what the truth is about operations at Braddock Hospital,” said Tony Buba, Braddock filmmaker. “UPMC must explain why it can’t either run Braddock without a loss, or make up that loss from elsewhere in its system.”

Pennsylvania Health Department reports on hospital utilization show that UPMC Braddock's occupancy rate in 2007-08 was 72.4 percent, higher than six other Allegheny County hospitals, including UPMC Mercy, West Penn, Heritage Valley in Sewickley and Ohio Valley. Yet, UPMC plans to close Braddock Hospital while building a similar-sized hospital in Monroeville, less than one mile from the Forbes Regional Hospital.

"This is an example of a critical issue that has been missing from the current debate on health care: disparity of treatment and lack of access to health care for minority and poor communities,” said Fred Redmond, International Vice President for Human Affairs for the United Steel Workers. “UPMC is abandoning an area with a large number of minority and senior citizens; hundreds of them are retired steelworkers. We expect UPMC to do better, to reverse this decision and keep UPMC/Braddock Hospital open."

Ed Cloonan, former state store workers’ union president and board member of the Western Coalition for Single-Payer Healthcare expressed outrage at the UPMC decision: “UPMC building a new hospital near another hospital in an affluent neighborhood and abandoning Braddock is an example of the cancer of our profit-driven healthcare system, all the while pretending to be a nonprofit charity.

good to see this issue is getting some media coverage.

Submitted by lambert on

... in class terms, can be a thousand or a million miles away. What a farce.

Reminds of all the walkways built above steet level in Philly hospitals so that people could walk straight from the giant multilevel parking lots into the hospital without actually having to see any local residents. Nice.

(The other nice thing, of course, is that the walkways are really bad for street life -- they cut off views and look like barriers and destroy store fronts beneath them.