Owner of Northside Medical Center expected to become the country - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Owner of Northside Medical Center expected to become the country's largest for-profit hospital chain

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Community Health Systems, the company that owns Northside Medical Center, is expected to become the country's largest for-profit hospital chain next month.

CHS is working through a deal to purchase Florida-based Health Management Associates, a move that upsets a number of Valley nurses and American Federation of Teachers, the bargaining unit which represents area nurses.

"Why would it actually be much more focused on the quality of care of the folks who live in Youngstown," said Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers.

While Weingarten believes CHS should be fixing problems at its hospitals instead of purchasing new ones, she says AFT conducted its own research on HMA only to find its largest stakeholder, Glenview Capital, is also the largest stakeholder in CHS which leads her to believe CHS is more concerned with short term profits than quality of care.

She is sending a letter to CHS Tuesday expressing those concerns. "Maybe these companies will at least listen to their shareholders because they clearly aren't listening to the people who work for this hospital and want this hospital to work for the people in Youngstown," Weingarten said.

According to the president of the Youngstown General Duty Nurses Association, nurses at Northside Medical Center are still working without a contract.

Since their one day strike in September, more than 60 nurses have resigned.

Association president Eric Williams says the hospital is on track to lose 30-percent of its workforce. "Why would a hospital choose to undercut their professional staff? Why would they choose to put patient outcomes at risk?"

Community Health Systems couldn't be reached for comment.

AFT anticipates a response from them once they issue their letter.

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