A union leader is blasting plans to close Northside Regional Medical Center in Youngstown next month.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, which is the parent union of the Ohio Nurses Association, issued a statement calling the move a “cruel, callous move that will hurt the Youngstown community”.

The Ohio Nurses Association represents the Youngstown General Duty Nurses Association's 188 members who will lose their jobs on September 20 when Steward Health Care announced it plans to shut down Northside.

“When it bought Northside, Steward promised to work with the Ohio Nurses Association and rebuild the hospital; now it has abandoned that promise, putting its profits over patient care,” says Weingarten. “Steward Health Care, which in turn is owned by the New York hedge fund Cerberus Capital Management, crassly wants to consolidate its profits by closing Northside and directing patients to its two other area hospitals.”

Calling it a “sad commentary on the state of the healthcare industry today,” Weingarten blamed Steward's decision on what he calls “the almighty bottom line”.

In announcing plans to close the facility, Steward cited what it characterized as a steady patient decline over many years.

The Youngstown General Duty Nurses Association plan to hold a news conference this morning in front of the hospital with State Senator Joe Schiavoni.

A statement issued by the YGDNA calls the closing devastating.