1199SEIU + MNA Joint Statement Regarding the Filing of Bankruptcy by Steward Healthcare

May 6, 2024

BOSTON, MA – Steward Healthcare’s declaration of Chapter 11 bankruptcy and its impact on the numerous communities currently served by the Steward-owned hospitals in the Commonwealth is of concern to MNA, 1199SEIU and other members of the Our Community Our Hospital coalition.  The potential loss of any of these facilities will have devastating consequences for hundreds of thousands of residents from the South Shore to southern New Hampshire. However, Steward going through the process of reorganization provides an opportunity for other stakeholders to take long-awaited action and center the voices of caregivers and patients. 

The administration, the legislature, the healthcare industry, and all those who value the health of our communities should immediately take whatever steps are needed to ensure the preservation of these facilities and the safe transition to more stable and responsible not for profit ownership. Inaction would worsen health inequities, create hospital deserts, and weaken the entire healthcare infrastructure for all patients in Massachusetts. 

One only need look at what has happened in Southeastern Mass with the loss of Norwood Hospital and Brockton Hospital, where the influx of patients has stressed the region’s already overburdened emergency departments, to see what lies in store with the loss these other facilities.   No amount of contingency planning between the DPH and hospital executives can stem the inevitable and unnecessary injury and death that would result from a failure to preserve these resources. 

As such, the bankruptcy declaration should only embolden the administration, the legislature, the healthcare industry, and all those who value the health of our communities to immediately take whatever steps are needed to ensure the preservation of these facilities and the safe transition to more stable and responsible not for profit ownership.    

Additionally, we must commend the dedicated and compassionate caregivers, healthcare workers and physicians who throughout this grueling process have stayed the course.  They will continue to provide desperately needed care under various circumstances. As this process unfolds, the voices of the patients, the workforce, and the community must be heard, and they must have a seat at the table as decisions about the future of health care in these communities are made.