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Teachers Union: South Side Black residents need ready access to services
2020-04-06

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CHICAGO, April 6, 2020—Registered nurses at Provident Hospital are holding a media availability during their shift change to describe how the closure of Provident Hospital's emergency department could impact the health and safety of the patient community Provident Hospital serves. Cook County Health Systems has said that closing the ER was unavoidable due to an anticipated rise in COVID19 cases in which Provident's ER was not physically designed to accommodate. Provident health workers will lay out their concerns today at a 4PM press conference at the hospital.

"Health care workers and the patients they care for at Provident deserve our solidarity and support," said CTU President Jesse Sharkey.

CTU member and certified school nurse Dennis Kosuth moonlights at Provident, and will join other RN members of National Nurses United to raise concerns about this closure.

"South Side residents desperately need access to health care, especially with Chicago's Black residents bearing the burden of COVID-19 deaths,"said Cook County Commissioner and CTU organizer Brandon Johnson. "Provident needs more support—not less—including support that rebuilds this hospital and strengthens Provident's sustainability going forward. And we need to commit to strengthening our social safety net in health care across Cook County and the nation, including by pushing for Medicare For All."

The temporary closure of Provident Hospital's emergency department requires assurances from public agencies and health care providers that health services to working class Black families will improve rather than be diminished for South Side residents.

"Provident has been an essential health care anchor for South Siders for generations," said Sharkey. "Just as every CPS school community deserves a nurse for every school, every Chicagoan—including South Side residents who rely on Provident—and every resident in the United States deserves access to affordable quality health care through Medicare For All. That critical need requires that we strengthen public hospitals like Provident and make that a real priority."

What: RN availability on closure of Provident Hospital Emergency Room

Where: 500 E 51st St, Chicago, IL 60615

When: April 6, 2020 4:00 PM CT

Press contacts: press@nationalnursesunited.org or kperkins@nationalnursesunited.org .

The Chicago Teachers Union represents nearly 25,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in schools funded by City of Chicago School District 299, and by extension, the nearly 400,000 students and families they serve. The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States. For more information please visit the CTU website at www.ctulocal1.org .

—From a Chicago Teachers Union press release


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