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Cabell Huntington Hospital: It was the place to work; we have faith it could be again.

Approximately 2018, there was a shift in the focus of the board of directors. We don’t know who came or went, but decisions were made and deals were struck. It became apparent when the decision was made to bring in Mike Mullins. In a series of mandatory meetings, he said “the board’s vision” was to change the culture of CHH.

This hospital built success by making a positive difference in the community and treating the employees with respect by extending solid benefits to all who upheld the hospital’s Circle of Values. We guaranteed Cabell Huntington Hospital’s success, and we in turn were guaranteed ours.

That was our culture.

We understand the company’s need for growth and expansion. However, board members made the choice to commit millions of dollars to have the Mountain Health Network name added to what the Tri-State simply refers to as “the Civic Center.” Growth? Expansion? This is only one example of mass money flying everywhere with absolutely no positive effect on this hospital.

Board members did this while simultaneously dismantling the promised hospital benefits to our nurses. We comprehend the meaning of “self-insured hospital.” This was a broken agreement in which the board declared no matter how hard you work toward ours, we no longer guarantee your success.

The board of directors’ decisions to decrease the benefits of our retirees should be against the law. These people worked for 20, 30 or 40 years for this hospital with the assurance that they’d be covered when they were too old to continue working and their choices severely limited. Who decided to look past the impact of this decision?

It’s just wrong. This is terrifying for them and frankly, as current employees, for us.

Our service workers do not want to be on the sidewalk. They want to work within the hospital they’ve been faithful to with the co-workers and patients inside that they love. The board has given them no choice by dishonoring their agreement concerning their hospital benefits. They want to cap employees’ pay with no regard for their cultivated experience and/or inflation. They want to bring in subcontractors to do their jobs.

Yes, our service workers are walking to try to protect our elderly retirees. This is so important.

So here we are. It feels like this hospital is being dismantled from the inside out, destroying systems in place within the hospital and the morale of all. The board’s decisions appear to be focused on acquisitions only, ignoring the healthy growth and maintenance of CHH.

We are asking them to please have the meeting. Discuss integrity, long-term goals and goals that have worked in the past toward success, upholding agreements and respecting those who have always respected them.

Cabell Huntington Hospital has the ability to grow and prosper while maintaining an honest, ethical relationship with the community and with its employees. In this time of corporate craziness, Cabell Huntington Hospital can be the light on the hill. Our board of directors can choose to do the right thing.

We have faith that they can stop this madness if they choose to fix it.

To the CHH/MHN board of directors that read this, please do the right thing.

From a long-time employee of CHH who wants to be able to trust my employer again.

Kimberly Bowen is an employee of Cabell Huntington Hospital who is currently on strike.

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