A few of the Executives responsible for the loss of 454 employees at Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford, Oregon:
Asante’ Rogue Regional Abandons 454 Employees, 180 Nurses, Pays Travelers Double, Harasses Contractors.
Local staff members at the largest hospital in the region will serve their last day tomorrow: Sunday, October 17, 2021.
Medford, Oregon: October 16, 2021 – Asante is the owner of Rogue Regional Hospital, the largest medical facility in the region. The organization has recently come under scrutiny, due to draconian vaccination policies and the board’s unwillingness to stand up for it’s employees. The same employees have served the community tirelessly throughout the pandemic. No religious or medical exemptions have been allowed, resulting in law suits being filed against the state of Oregon and other entities.
With 454 employees to be put on permanent leave without pay, 180 of them are nurses. Asante’ contractors are now being forced to take the vaccine or have their contracts terminated. An administrative employee, that has regular access to board information, shared this with Southern Oregon First:
“I can confirm that, as of last Thursday, there will be a minimum of 454 positions lost at RRMC alone. This does not include TRMC in GP or all the outlying APP clinics. I can also state that Asante is paying the highest wages for traveling nurses in the NATION. While those wages go through a third party contractor, Asante is still paying those contracts the highest price in the US right now. There will also be a substantial impact to the community beyond the loss of healthcare employees. Asante has extended the mandate to any vendor or contractors that enter an Asante occupied building in which employees and/or patients are present. This means that our local contractors that perform service work such as contracted electrical work, plumbing work, painting, medical equipment repair, refrigeration repair and cleaning services and such, are also required to be vaccinated or else they will no longer be able to be inside an Asante building. Asante has depended on our local small businesses to complete service work for them for many years, and to some, Asante is their biggest client. Asante has now disposed of them as well. Asante claims this decision was made for the safety of the “community” but they are decimating the same community they proclaim to be protecting.
At one point over 2000 community members including medical workers showed up at Rogue Regional hospital to protest the lack of medical freedom and abuse of employees through bullying and harassment at the hands of other staff members and leaders.
The recent atmosphere at Asante’s Rogue Regional Hospital has been described by dozens as being infected with harassment and bullying. A nurse to be only identified and June tells Southern Oregon First:
“Working at Rogue Regional has been horrible for the last few months. It’s been worse than the long hours of work during the pandemic. During the pandemic, we worked together. Since the mandate, unvaccinated employees have become pariahs, literally hundreds of us. Sharp words from doctors and little digs from other employees throughout the work day have had me crying in my car on the way home. It feels horrible that I was valued a couple months ago and now I don’t matter”
Some employees are from one-income households, have student loans, and have families to feed. A nurse to be only identified as Lindsay told Southern Oregon First:
“I’m a single mother and I was encourage to take on student loan debt to become a nurse. Now, when it is time to pay back the loans, I am being abandoned by the state that provides my nursing license, the union and many of the people I worked with. I thought they were my friends. I don’t have family here. I came here to work at the hospital and don’t really know what I will do. The government still wants it’s loan payments, and I was always told nursing would be a great way to pay them back, help people and have a good retirement. Now I am just worried about paying rent, finding a new career, and keeping my kids fed.”
Still another staff member that will be losing her job provided text message threads with a traveling medical worker showing that many of the people hired from outside the area to cover the loss in staff are not even vaccinated. A Rogue Regional employee, to only be named as Lou, showed southern Southern Oregon First a text message session with a traveling medical worker that was hired at more than double the pay of our local people:
Traveler: “I need to tell you the truth. Asante’ hired me and XXXX at close to double what you told me you make doing the same job.”
Lou: “Seriously? How is that possible.”
Traveler: “I don’t know, but it isn’t right. Those wages are why we travel, but nether of us are vaccinated. I don’t understand why nobody asked us.”
Lou: “How can that be possible?????”
Traveler: “Feels like they are trying to send you a message. Please don’t use my name or position if you tell anyone. I can travel somewhere else if needed, but I’ve gotten to know you, you are good at your job. Nobody is getting infected from you in that little room. I had to tell you. Please don’t hurt me with it.”
Lou: “I won’t. You’re a good XXXXXX too. I just can’t believe this is happening. I have a great record with them for more than a decade.
Based on a publicly shared Facebook Post by Janelle Olsen, on Sunday, October 17th at 5:30PM, many Asante’ employees with be protesting in front of Rogue Regional Hospital on Barnett Road in Medford, Oregon. They intend to leave their shoes behind to represent the work they have done for the community. Monday, all employees being placed on permanent administrative leave will no longer be allowed on the campus without being trespassed. The message being sent, per another leaving staff members is:
“If you worked here and didn’t get the vaccine, you are no longer welcome, apparently even for your own medical care. Asante’s Rogue Regional has received over $27 Million due to covid. Their Ashland Community Hospital has received over $6 Million due to covid. That seems to be more important than the community they serve or the staff that serves that community. I just know medical services there are no longer going to be what was once available in our community. Southern Oregon and those that visit the area for medical care can expect longer waits for appointments, understaffed departments and an overall lower quality of care.”
As the author of this article, I will also share a personal family-member’s recent experience with Asante’s Rogue Regional Hospital. My family member had some health issues and blood test were performed. The blood tests resulted in a problem. The problem was lightly diagnosed and an appointment made to deal with the problem through Asante’ more than over two months out. When that family member changed to Providence Medical Center, he had an appointment in 2 weeks. With Asante’ no longer holding up their end of the bargain in this community, we can assume that Providence will also become overrun with patients leaving Asante’ to get faster care. The end result could be devastating to Southern Oregon. Providence as treated the unvaccinated employees and patients far better than Asante’ recently. I make that statement based on stories from those that contact me and my own relative’s personal experience.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THESE ACTIONS?
When I asked the Asante’ administrative employee who is responsible for these decisions, I was provided with this list:
- Scott Kelly, CEO of Asante
- Dr. Jamie Grebosky, Chief Medical Officer for Asante
- Mick Zdeblick, CEO of RRMC
- Robert Begg, VP of HR (the biggest driver of this and actually laughed during a live Q&A with employees about firing people)
- Kristen Roy, Legal
- Kristi Blackhurst, VP of Operations at RRMC & AACH
- Amanda Kotler, VP of Nursing at RRMC & AACH
Due to the sensitive nature of this subject, observed cases of bullying, and the financial power of the entity being discussed, Southern Oregon First is providing these quotes without real names, to protect the employees already under duress. As the owner of Southern Oregon First, I have personally experienced death threats in writing shared with me by hospital employees. One Pulmonary employee named Craig Miller even made calls to my clients in another business. He didn’t realize my clients are often my friends and was advised by Asante’s risk management department to no longer contact me. Having those personal experiences myself, I, like many other community members I and my family will no longer patronize Asante’ or Rogue Regional Hospital.