Community advocates, doctors and nurses have charged ever since that, in a series of phases, Sutter-CPMC has been bleeding St. Luke's to death. If they succeed in killing it, the city will be left with only one hospital in its southern, browner, and poorer sections -- and that will be the under-funded, overwhelmed country hospital, San Francisco General. CPMC will operate 4 of the 10 hospitals in the richer, whiter northern section. Talk about economic segregation of health care … More details here.
Now Catherine Traywick at Spot.us offers a thorough account of one element of CPMC's kill-St.-Luke's-with-a-thousand-cuts strategy: they have apparently sought to end hiring of Filipino nurses.
The story is inflammatory. For decades hospitals have recruited immigrant Filipino nurses; these well-trained English speakers were thought to be willing to work harder and longer than natives while less likely to agitate for better wages and working conditions because of their non-citizen status.
Of course these nurses gradually became rooted in their new country, birthed citizen children and become natives themselves. However as more nurses of all ethnicities have seen the benefits of labor organizations, especially in Northern California some Filipino nurses have become militant labor activists and the hospitals find they confront an awakened work force. They don't like it.
And so, apparently at least some CPMC administrators have jumped from stereotypically thinking of their Filipino and Philippine-origin employees as subservient and passive to finding them aggressive and dangerous. At St. Luke's, Traywick reports employee accounts of management's directives:
Having been caught out encouraging racial discrimination in hiring, CPMC then compounded its descent into community infamy by trying to patronize the Filipino community. The CEO thought blogging about his delight in Filipino food might help. This led to outrage in the community.
Signs on the walls of FCC.
Sutter-CPMC remains locked in struggle with the nurses' union (California Nurses Association) and the Mission community about the future of St. Luke's. Traywick's article is an important contribution to the story and worth a full read.