Massillon's Affinity Medical Center announces closure; nursing union pledges fight

Updated: Jan. 5, 2018 at 6:44 PM EST
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MASSILLON, OH (WOIO) - A nursing union was up in arms Friday after Massillon's Affinity Medical Center announced it would close its doors within the month.

National Nurses United, whose affiliate, National Nurses Organizing Committee-Ohio, represents some 250 registered nurses at Affinity, said it would work with elected leaders, community residents and local organizations in an effort to oppose the closure.

"Nurses, like the rest of our community, are stunned by this sudden announcement to close Affinity Medical Center.  I have been providing care to patients in this community for over 35 years and know that the care provided by nurses and other staff at AMC is very much needed. There is no way that I am going to accept this decision by QHC to abandon our community sitting down," said RN Rose Anne Wilson, who works in Affinity's Orthopedic Department, in a prepared statement.

NNU sharply criticized the plan by Quorum Health Corporation, a spin-off operation of Community Health Systems -- one of the nation's largest for-profit hospital chains -- to close the hospital.

"If Quorum and CHS are unwilling to keep Affinity open, it should commit to work with elected officials and the community to develop another operator to retain this vital community resource, or be held fully accountable for the disaster likely to follow," said Ross.

"CHS in particular has a long, disgraceful history of ignoring the interests and well being of the patients who count on them for care and who have funded the wealth of this big corporation," said Ross. "CHS is also one of the most lawless corporations in healthcare with a history of violating federal law and nurses' democratic rights."

The hospital was recently involved in a murder-suicide incident where Dr. George Seese III, 59, was shot four times by 50-year-old Michael A. Wood in the facility's parking lot.

Return to Cleveland 19 for more on this developing story.

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