By now, you may have heard that Astria Regional Medical Center (Yakima Regional) has announced plans to shut down between January 13 and 22, 2020.
We are as shocked by this news as you are. We learned of Astria’s plans just this afternoon when notified by their bankruptcy lawyer. Astria filed a motion in secrecy and held a hearing closed to the public with the bankruptcy court asking the court for permission to close down Yakima Regional. The court heard the motion under seal — without letting nurses or other members of the public participate in the proceedings. We learned of Astria’s plan only after the court had signed off on it. The plan to close Yakima Regional is shocking not only because Astria got permission to do so in secret, but also because throughout the last seven months of its bankruptcy, Astria had never as much as hinted that it planned to close any facility.
As you can see in the linked letter, we have demanded that Astria bargain with us over the effects of its decision to close Yakima Regional and our lawyers are actively exploring all legal options for holding Astria accountable for its incredibly unfair decision to eliminate your jobs with no notice. We are also reaching out to the Governor’s office and other relevant stakeholders to build additional support.
Meanwhile, Astria has already indicated that it will consider you for open positions in its other facilities. We will do everything we can to help you navigate that process.
We wish we had more to tell you right now. But Astria has kept us as much in the dark as it has kept you. We will keep you actively informed as we learn more about all available options.
Sally Watkins, PhD, RN
WSNA Executive Director