Letter to the Editor: published July 14, 2023

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To our beloved community

It was not about money and we are hoping this letter is published to allow us to tell our story. We are 6 professional RNs who have very possibly cared for you or one of you loved ones. Collectively we have dedicated over 60 years to Catalina Island Medical Center and 142 years of nursing experience.

This facility is unique in that the RNs are responsible for all the duties of providing quality patient care.

Larger hospitals have pharmacists, respiratory therapists, EKG technicians among other departments to assist in patient care. Recently, employee surveys completed by all departments at CIMC expressed dissatisfaction with trust and feeling valued.

Due to the pervasive leadership challenges of communication, morale, and transparency, several of our core staff of RNs resigned.

A majority of the core staff attempted to remedy the situation by initiating a meeting with the leadership team to discuss our concerns.

After the meeting, a summary of our requests for consideration was sent to the CEO, at his prompting. This email did outline a need to look at financial equity between Island Resident RNs and Travel/Contract RNs, who are provided hospital housing and transportation in addition to a much higher hourly pay rate.

However, the more important concern was feeling respected and valued as committed employees.

After one week and with no communication from leadership we were sent an email from the CEO denying all requests with no further discussion, which is indicative of the leadership style.

That action spoke for itself, so we resigned from CIMC and gave them a two weeks notice.

It’s also important to understand that we were the staff that came to work when the boats didn’t run, or there was a major rush in the ER, or when there was a late sick call and no one else available to cover the shift.

And we did this because we love our community and its people.

Rita Whitaker RN – 20 years service CIMC/43 years as a RN

Jeryl Kreie RN – 18.5 years service at CIMC/34 years as a RN

Olivia Mello RN – 12 years service at CIMC/23 years as a RN

Brenda Jordahl Carel – 9 years service at CIMC/35 years as a RN

William Wallach – 3 years service at CIMC/7 years as a RN