Our fellow SEIU Healthcare 1199NW member Dalila Cruz shared her experience as a member of the reception staff at Neighborcare Health Meridian, and wrote about the importance of building long-term relationships between patients and caregivers. Her piece, originally written in Spanish, appeared in El Mundo — Los pacientes de Neighborcare merecen servicios médicos de calidad. Esa es nuestra promesa.
We have translated Dalila’s words:
Neighborcare’s patients deserve quality healthcare. That is our promise.
As a member of our reception staff, I am often the first person at Neighborcare with whom the patients interact. I schedule their appointments, I provide a shoulder to cry on and I listen to their concerns. I share in their happiness when they bring their newborns to the clinic and I watch their babies grow. I do all this and so much more.
In December 2017, Neighborcare, without taking our voices into account, directed us to re-apply for our jobs or face layoffs. Only half of us were re-hired. Before, reception staff used to answer telephone calls, but Neighborcare opened a call center two years ago that does not provide services in Spanish.
These changes affected workers, and many left. Unfortunately, our patients have been impacted by these changes.
Neighborcare says it has a commitment to providing integral health services and responding with sensitivity to the cultural differences of the patients we serve. In my opinion, that promise has not been upheld. We, the workers at Neighborcare, want to renew that commitment toward our patients through our union in SEIU Healthcare 1199NW. We ask Neighborcare to respect our work so we can provide quality healthcare. My name is Dalila Cruz and I am your patient services representative.