Northside nurses ratify agreement

No details released on deal with Stewart Health Care

YOUNGSTOWN — Nurses at Northside Regional Medical Center have ratified an agreement with hospital operator Steward Health Care, according to a union official.

However, “due to the terms of this agreement, we cannot discuss further details,” said Molly Homan, director of communications for the Ohio Nurses Association, in an email Thursday morning to the Tribune Chronicle.

The vote total is among the details that cannot be released.

Message seeking comment were left with a spokeswoman for Steward.

Leadership with the Youngstown General Duty Nurses Association, which represents 188 nurses at the hospital on Gypsy Lane, and Steward officials reached a tentative agreement on Sept. 6.

The union was to negotiate severance packages with Steward at the end of August into early this month after the Boston-based health care provider announced Aug. 15 it would be closing the facility Sept. 20 because of it being underutilized.

Union officials said Aug. 16 outside the facility that the goal of the negotiations was to make sure members received severance packages large enough to give them adequate time to find jobs with comparable pay elsewhere in the region.

The hospital will stop taking ambulances and admissions in the emergency department on Monday and by Wednesday, Northside intends to transfer or discharge any remaining patients. Patients are expected to be transferred to Trumbull Regional Medical Center, owned by Steward, and other local hospitals.

Employees will be paid through Oct. 14, according to the company.

Two buildings on the property that house six private practices that lease space from the company will remain open. Because the offices are private practices, the employment of the physicians and their support staff will not be affected by the closure of the rest of the facility.

The rest of the facility, meanwhile, has been proposed by U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, D-Howland, to be used to provide services for local veterans, not as a clinic, but as potentially working with Youngstown-based America Makes to make prosthetics for injured veterans or where veterans can get help with housing and other supportive services.