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Healthcare Watchdog Our SALUD Protests Potential Sale of Six Safety Net Hospitals to Prime Healthcare

- Our SALUD Urges Seller To Select Responsible Buyer

TORRANCE, Calif., Aug. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Demanding the Daughters of Charity Healthcare System stand true to their mission, Our SALUD, a grassroots healthcare watchdog organization, called on the Daughters today to select a responsible buyer for their hospitals, one that will be beneficial to patients and employees, as well as the sick and the poor.  Community activists Elba Romo and Bell corruption scandal whistleblower Nestor Enrique Valencia, co-founders of Our SALUD, joined a community rally at St. Vincent's Medical Center in Los Angeles to protest the potential sale of hospitals owned by the Daughters of Charity Healthcare System to Prime Healthcare, a for-profit healthcare system. 

"Prime Healthcare sells itself as being the savior of failing hospitals," said Elba Romo, Co-Founder, Our SALUD.  "Instead, Prime is a pillager of local communities.  Prime Healthcare has a history of laying off workers, reducing or eliminating community services and turning hospitals into cash machines with unnecessary admissions and procedures."

It is widely reported that Prime is the subject of numerous state and federal investigations concerning their billing and patient care practices, and is currently under investigation by the United States government concerning its Medicare practices.

In June, Our SALUD filed a complaint against the head of the California Department of Public Health contending that the State failed to protect Californians from Prime's practices.

"If the government won't protect our communities, we must," said Romo.  'We must stand up for our communities to demand better care.  If we don't stand up, we can't expect better care.  Selling the hospitals to Prime won't equal better care."

Romo and Valencia joined Assembly member Isadore Hall (D-Compton), Father Manual Cacad of St. Kevin Catholic Church and dozens of SEIU healthcare workers at the protest rally.

According to reports, The Daughters of Charity Healthcare System has been in financial danger for more than a year, losing roughly $10 million a month since January 2014.  In addition to St. Vincent's Medical Center, the Daughters own St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood.  The other four Daughters hospitals are located in the bay area.  They are O'Connor Hospital in San Jose, Saint Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy, Seton Medical Center in Daly City and Seton Coast side in Moss Beach.

Our SALUD has a history of fighting to correct abuses, protect patients and fight for safer, healthier communities.  The group has helped mobilize grassroots and local government support for initiatives to combat HMO abuses and environmental contamination in California and New Jersey.  

About Our SALUD
Our SALUD (Somos Aliados Latinos Unidos por la Dignidad – Latino Allies United for Dignity) is a grassroots health care watchdog coalition representing civic, community and business leaders from the Southern California Latino communities.  We believe that our low-income, minority communities deserve quality health care access equal to other communities.  We believe our communities are not unlike other communities in California which are yearning for best practices and quality health care. 


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