News & Events
Nurses Urge Benishek to Be Honest About His Role in Cheboygan Hospital Closing
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Dawn Kettinger, (517) 721-9688, email@example.com
Congressman should hold town hall meeting to address concerns
Members of the Michigan Nurses Association are urging Congressman Dan Benishek of Crystal Falls to hold a town hall meeting in Cheboygan to answer the community’s questions about the closing of the Cheboygan hospital and clarify his role in the process.
“Congressman Benishek should have been here weeks ago doing everything possible to help us save our community hospital,” said Lee Hall, a registered nurse who lives in Cheboygan and worked in the emergency room at Cheboygan Memorial Hospital. “On behalf of myself and the other CMH nurses, I am angry that our community was short-changed by a politician who makes speeches about health care but won’t lift a finger to protect it. Congressman Benishek has a lot of explaining to do.”
Cheboygan Memorial Hospital closed on April 3 after a deal with potential buyer McLaren Health Care fell through. CMH was the only hospital in Cheboygan County; residents now must travel at least 30 miles for an emergency room or hospital care. About 400 employees lost their jobs, sending a devastating economic ripple effect through the region.
CMH filed for bankruptcy on March 1 – but Benishek, a medical doctor and former surgeon, has not been involved in the situation with the hospital in his own backyard until recently.
His exact involvement is unclear.
Benishek was in Cheboygan on Tuesday meeting with city business leaders, attending the Board of Commissioners meeting and doing other business, the Cheboygan Daily Tribune reported.
His district director, Lori Latham, told the newspaper “we’re in a holding pattern” until a hearing Wednesday afternoon, referring to a status conference in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Bay City.
However, no one from Benishek’s office attended the hearing, which a Michigan Nurses Association representative participated in.
In fact, it’s unclear whether Benishek is personally working on this issue at all [“He admitted to leaving most of the discussion to Latham.” (Lori Latham, his district director) - Cheboygan Daily Tribune, April 11, 2012]
Benishek “believes there are multiple options for the CMH campus and getting at least emergency care back in Cheboygan County,” the newspaper reported. It’s unknown what he is basing this information on.
Benishek also gave another publication vague information: “It may very well close, we’re trying last minute appeals and all that.” - Marquette Mining Journal, April 7, 2012. It’s unknown what “appeals” Benishek tried.
Benishek has not even bothered to mention the Cheboygan hospital situation on his official website or Facebook page.
“We were shocked to read Dr. Benishek’s statements since he did not respond previously to requests from me and Cheboygan Memorial officials asking him to intervene,” said Shela Khan Monroe, a Michigan Nurses Association labor representative who has worked closely with CMH nurses and administration to help keep the hospital open. “Our nurses are heartbroken at how this closure has devastated the community; to have people traveling 30, 40 miles for emergency care and to lose the hospital they’ve had for 70 years – that should never have been an option. What’s worse is for Dr. Benishek to come in and give false impressions and false hope to the people he abandoned.”
The Michigan Nurses Association represents more than 10,000 registered nurses statewide, advocating for them and their patients.