500 signatures reached
To: The CEO and Board of Governors of PIH Health Good Samaritan Hospital & PIH Health Properties
Stop the Closure of PIH Good Samaritan Hospital Childcare Center
On the morning of Monday, June 21, 2021, after parents waved good-bye to their children as they were happily greeted by their teachers, PIH informed the families and staff of PIH Health Good Samaritan Hospital Childcare Center (“The Center”) that “after much consideration” a decision was made for us (not with us, or by us) to permanently close The Center on August 20, 2021.
During a time when daycare is essential, families and staff alike are in shock, disbelief, and under incredible stress from PIH’s bewildering decision. The COVID-19 Pandemic halted our economy with extraordinary volumes of layoffs, leaving families with little to no income and depleted savings. Essential workers and parents working from home who were fortunate to still be employed had the added responsibility of taking care of their children during work hours as the COVID-19 “stay-at-home” guidelines set by the state and county governments forced many schools and childcare centers to close their doors. However, the PIH Health Good Samaritan Hospital (PIH-GSH) Childcare Center was one of the few centers that continued to provide a critical service for the families who have needed daycare, including PIH’s own nurses, doctors and hospital employees.
We call on the Board of Directors of PIH Good Samaritan Hospital and the Board of Directors of PIH Health Properties to strongly reconsider the closure of a community benefit and keep the GSH Childcare Center open. We ask that they:
(1) Allow The Center to remain open until the end of the year to attempt to increase enrollment numbers comparable or exceeding that of pre-pandemic enrollment numbers.
(2) Allow The Center to hire more staff to accommodate maximum enrollment
(3) Continue the efforts of past directors to complete the national accreditation of The Center (https://www.naeyc.org/accreditation)
Should the decision to close the GSH Daycare remain, we ask that they:
(1) Pay The Center staff all their accrued time off (vacation, etc.) and guarantee a comprehensive severance package
(2) Provide workforce training for teachers and staff to support them in transitioning to other roles in the hospital.
(3) Guarantee that any new development project includes a childcare center for PIH staff and the surrounding community
(4) Extend the closure date to December 31, 2021 to allow parents enough time to find alternative care
(5) Provide a stipend to PIH employees whose children will be displaced to cover registration fees and 2 months tuition.
Why is this important?
More disheartening is our disappointment of PIH’s lack of recognition of The Center’s staff and teachers. Almost all of 2020, PIH medical staff were on the front lines risking their lives to help Angelenos cope with this deadly pandemic. As parents and grandparents took their place on the line, The Center’s staff took theirs alongside by risking their own lives to be there for the children, giving their parents and grandparents peace of mind needed to focus on their work and ensuring their children were safe and cared for. PIH medical staff would be able to perform their duties and care for the community because they had the most progressive benefit that most employers are trying to figure out, onsite childcare services.
Yet, instead of celebrating The Center’s commitment to their fellow staff members and praising them for the support they provided, PIH’s actions are a slap in the face to the contributions of their teachers and caretakers. PIH’s short sighted cost cutting is a message to medical staff who are parents that their contribution to the company is disposable. In addition, PIH’s decision is a signal to new employees with young aged children that they are not interested in supporting their growing families and to figure it out because investing in their employees’ wellbeing is not part of their grand plan to grow and expand their services within the community.
Research has shown that this pandemic has affected working parents with children under six years of age immensely, showing numbers of increased unemployment specifically for working mothers. In fact, eight percent of working mothers with a child under age 13, are employed in the hospital industry (2019, Center for American Progress). Removing this benefit from PIH’s Benefit Package will greatly impact the retention of their workforce, the quality of their services and reduce their recruitment efforts of working parents.
PIH Health’s mission statement includes their commitment to contribute to the health and well-being of our communities, THIS community. The Center has served employees and the Pico-Union/Westlake community for over 25 years and it’s staff has reflected in their commitment with teachers who have been loyal to The Center, its families, and to each other for 5, 10, 15, and even 20 plus years of service. The Center is one of few childcare centers within the downtown area that not only benefited the employees of PIH-GSH but also served the parents/guardians of children that work and serve in the nearby community including government, nonprofit, school and private sector employees. Closing this center equates to one less option for child care within the downtown area. It has gained the support and funding of over 60 past donors, including Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., the late Mr. & Mrs William Henry Doheny, The Harold McAlister Charitable Foundation, and many more community members and associates who believed The Center was worth the investment. The staff of The Center has taken care of the children of many doctors, nurses, staff and administrators who work in this primarily low-income area of the City of Los Angeles who have watched their children grow up and become part of the very community they serve. Caring for the community is part of PIH HEALTH’s mission. And it is clear that the hospital staff is driven and dedicated to that mission of ensuring that their patience in the community receives quality healthcare and wellbeing. The decision to take this critical resource away from the staff at their hospital and the families in the area does not align with and contradicts its mission. We hold the Board of Directors accountable for allowing this misalignment to exist and misinform decision makers to even entertain the idea of choosing business development initiatives over the education and care of children under the age of 4 years old within the very community they serve.
We, the undersigned parents and supporters of this cause, strongly believe that the PIH Good Samaritan Hospital Childcare Center closure is a huge disservice to families and the community in the area, and will negatively harm children, parents, and teachers given the limited number of childcare centers operating in Los Angeles County.
How it will be delivered
We plan to deliver this petition and signatures via email to Jim West, CEO of PIH Health Good Samaritan Hospital & PIH Health Properties and The Board of Governors.
See full petition here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/14mkiUbmA7vXzIEtvEI3SqFsUT3VbfnU4fMcRscb47OY/edit?usp=sharing