Karen Matts LPN
Karen Matts is a licensed practical nurse and a proud member of Teamsters Local 332.
My name is Karen Matts. I am a licensed practical nurse and a proud member of Teamsters Local 332. I loved my job providing care to patients at Genesys Regional Medical Center near Flint, Michigan.
I was laid off last year - well, I actually chose to leave. I could have bumped a co-worker out of her job, but it felt like stealing and I couldn't do it. So I left instead. I no longer work at Genesys, but I'm standing alongside the remaining licensed nurses, techs, EMTs and paramedics who are fighting to save their jobs and preserve the quality of care that the patients in my community deserve. You can help by visiting their website at www.StopAscensionAbuses.com and taking a stand.
My 300 sisters and brothers are being abused by a corporate medical establishment that claims to follow Catholic principles. But behind the scenes it wants to bleed the resources of that hospital and extract them to fund the large salaries and pet projects of out-of-state executives. You see, Genesys is owned by Ascension Health, the largest Catholic hospital chain in America and a very profitable one at that.
Ascension claims to be a "constructive voice in ensuring all Americans have access to quality healthcare." But it is trying to eliminate health care for its workers who retire after a lifetime of providing care to patients in our community.
Ascension also says it is "committed to health and well-being for our communities." But it cut 44 licensed nurses who provided direct patient care at Genesys, and wants to demote 40 more. Patient care has already suffered, and these cuts will make it worse.
Ascension is the country's third largest - and the largest Catholic non-profit - hospital chain. Last year it had revenues of $14 billion and declared a "surplus" of $371 million since it isn't allowed to call it a profit.
I wrote a letter to the Bishop of Lansing and the Archbishop of Detroit that they never answered. After explaining the cuts Ascension wants to make, I wrote:
"This is all being done in the worse economic times since the Great Depression of the 1930s, in one of the hardest-hit communities where many employees find themselves suddenly being the sole support of their families. How can a so-called Catholic organization demoralize so many good, faithful people?....Just because Corporate America has become unethical and amoral, why does Ascension have to follow suit? Many of us have devoted our entire adult lives to an organization that has now lost its humanity."
My former colleagues' contract has expired and Ascension is trying to wipe them out. They know it may be only a matter of days before they are locked out or forced on strike to save Flint's health care. Ascension is already parading replacement workers through the hospital to scare the workers.
On www.StopAscensionAbuses.com, you can take action to send a letter to Ascension's executives. I hope you'll take a moment to send them a message and let them know what you think.
January 28th, 2014
In the State of the Union address tonight, President Obama is going to call for a national minimum wage of $10.10. Then in their response ...
January 21st, 2014
My New Year's Day op-ed in the New York Times seems to have kickstarted a discussion about how to make Obamacare better. I hope you ...
December 18th, 2013
This morning it was announced by the Library of Congress and the National Film Preservation Board that my first film, 'Roger & Me', has been ...
December 14th, 2013
[View the story "Michael Moore Tweets on Eve of Newtown Anniversay" on Storify]
November 9th, 2013
Click here for this week's full schedule for the State Theatre and Bijou by the Bay in Traverse City, Michigan. The day has arrived. For ...
September 10th, 2013
[View the story "John Kerry's Accidental Diplomacy" on Storify]
July 30th, 2013
Today Bradley Manning was convicted on 20 of 22 counts, including violating the Espionage Act, releasing classified information and disobeying orders. That's the bad news. ...
September 11th, 2010
OpenMike 9/11/10 Michael Moore's daily blog I am opposed to the building of the "mosque" two blocks from Ground Zero. I want it built on ...
December 14th, 2010
Yesterday, in the Westminster Magistrates Court in London, the lawyers for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange presented to the judge a document from me stating that ...
May 12th, 2011
"The Nazis killed tens of MILLIONS. They got a trial. Why? Because we're not like them. We're Americans. We roll different." – Michael Moore in ...
November 22nd, 2011
This past weekend I participated in a four-hour meeting of Occupy Wall Street activists whose job it is to come up with the vision and ...
September 22nd, 2011
I encourage everyone I know to never travel to Georgia, never buy anything made in Georgia, to never do business in Georgia. I will ask ...
December 16th, 2010
Dear Swedish Government: Hi there -- or as you all say, Hallå! You know, all of us here in the U.S. love your country. Your ...
November 2nd, 2010
This letter contains (almost) no criticisms of how the Democrats have brought this day of reckoning upon themselves. That -- and where to go from ...