Nurses protest staffing issues amid Pocono-Lehigh merger

Nurses at East Stroudsburg, Pa.-based Pocono Medical Center and representatives of the healthcare union Jneso, a labor union that represents professional healthcare workers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, protested Tuesday against layoffs and staffing changes, according to a Pocono Record report.

The protest took place on the same day East Stroudsburg-based Pocono Health System celebrated its merger with Allentown, Pa.-based Lehigh Valley Health Network. Under the merger, which took effect Jan. 1, PMC becomes Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono.

On the day of the protest, the union said it wants safe staffing and quality patient care at PMC.

"The recent layoff of registered nurses at Pocono Medical Center was difficult for all of us. The loss of one nurse is a tragedy; the hospital needs to ensure nurses are staffed adequately and have the resources needed to provide quality patient care," Mona Hartle, president of the PMC Local Chapter of Jneso, said in a news release. "We come together to make certain Pocono Medical Center continues to deliver quality patient care at the bedside to our community."

In response to the protest, Geoffrey M. Roche, director of public and government affairs at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono, provided the following statement:

"LVHN believes our people make us successful. We will remain committed to preserving our workforce in all of our facilities. We have a long history of nursing excellence and patient care. Staffing at LVHN is based upon patient volume."


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