DAILY BRIEFING: Nurses picket, Books beat Badges, arson arrest, and more

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, April 27. Expect sunshine and a high near 91 degrees today. First, some news you need to know …

Desert Regional nurses among those picketing today

It’s the third year of the pandemic which has led to overflowing hospitals and overworked healthcare professionals. Now, local nurses are sounding the alarm again over what they call dangerous understaffing. 

Driving the news: Registered nurses at Desert Regional Medical Center and eight other hospitals plan to hold informational pickets today to bring attention to understaffing and high turnover at Tenet Healthcare Corp. facilities.

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  • The nurses’ union says the hospital has lost 137 nurses since the pandemic started and that prior to that they had been quitting because of unsustainable conditions. The union also accuses Tenet of mishandling work breaks and paying nurses to sacrifice breaks instead of staffing up.
     
    • Nurse Laura Bruce: “For the past two years, Tenet Healthcare has failed to prepare for the pandemic, prioritizing its profits over its responsibility to provide safe patient care.”
       
  • Desert Regional Group Marketing Director Richard Ramhoff contests that framing, saying Tenet is doing everything it can to keep the hospital well-staffed, including hiring traveling nurses and working to recruit more permanent staff.
     
    • Like many hospitals across the country, we have been facing staffing challenges exacerbated by the pandemic, and we remain committed to doing everything possible to stay well-staffed.”

Bigger picture: Ramhoff has a point about the nationwide shortage. Nurses have been quitting in droves.

  • Like housing inequality and wage stagnation, the pandemic has hastened what was already a crisis before 2020. As retirees outpaced new nurses, watchdogs were already calling for more nurses before the first Covid case was even reported. 
     
  • More than 500,000 nurses expect to retire by the end of this year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 1.1 million new ones will be needed to avoid a shortage. 
     
  • It’s not just overwork and understaffing leading to nurses leaving the industry. An American Association of Critical-Care Nurses survey reports that 76% say they’ve been threatened verbally and physically by unvaccinated patients.  

What happens today: Expect to see nurses and supporters outside Desert Regional starting at 8 a.m. A Desert Regional spokesperson says all facilities will operate normally during today’s picket.


2022 DINING OUT FOR LIFE TAKES PLACE THURSDAY, APRIL 28

Make your reservation today at a participating restaurant. Dining Out For Life® is an annual fundraising event. Restaurants, bars, and coffee shops donate a generous percent of their sales to DAP Health to provide help and hope to people living or impacted by HIV/AIDS. For participating restaurants, visit DAPHealth.org/DOFL


? Briefly

The annual Books vs. Badges charity basketball game finished in favor of the Books on Tuesday evening at PSHS. 

BOOKS BEAT BADGES: It was Books vs. Badges for the first time in four years Tuesday evening at Palm Springs High School. The annual event helps raise money for the school’s student body and raise the spirits of fans and athletes from the faculty of the school and the city’s police department. In the end, the Books pulled out a 54-40 victory, pouring in 27 points in both halves and leading 27-16 at the half. There was no sign that scouts from either the Lakers or Clippers were in attendance..

CHEF’S DONATION HELPS FAMILIES: Chef Chad Gardner recently contributed $5,000 to the Certified Farmers’ Markets of the Coachella Valley to ensure CalFresh money goes further. Customers use EBT cards at the farmers’ markets and also participate in Market Match, a program that provides a dollar-for-dollar match of shoppers’ nutrition benefits. Because of increased participation, the matching amount would be reduced if Gardner hadn’t stepped in. Gardner is the chef and creative director of the Gardner Hospitality Group, which includes well-known local restaurants Roly China Fusion and 533 Viet Fusion.

ARSON SUSPECTED: A 57-year-old man accused of setting his Palm Springs residence on fire was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of arson following a police investigation. Palm Springs police and fire units responded to a home fully engulfed in flames on April 22 at about 10 a.m. on Tamarisk Road between Cerritos and Sunrise Way. The man arrested Tuesday was the only person present during the incident and suffered moderate injuries. Police gave no reason for the suspected arson. The suspect was booked into jail in Indio.


? Today’s events

  • A third community meeting regarding the planned homeless navigation center along McCarthy Road is being held virtually at 5:30 p.m.
  • The next PALS (Planning Ahead for LGBTQ Seniors) drop-in discussion is today at 4 p.m. on Zoom.
  • The Palm Springs Planning Commission meets tonight at 5:30 p.m. on Zoom.
  • The Desert Rose Playhouse presents Mid-Century Moderns, a new musical tonight at 7 p.m.
See our complete community calendar or get your event listed by clicking here.

? What to watch for

  • Palm Canyon Theatre’s production of Monty Python’s Sir Spamalot continues this weekend.
  • Desert Winds Freedom Band has its next performance on Sunday.
  • The Sing Out for Ukraine Benefit Concert is May 2 at 6 p.m. at The Purple Room in Palm Springs.
  • The Annual State of the City is coming up on May 3 at 5 p.m. at the historic Plaza Theatre.
  • The next free concert in the new Downtown Park, put on by The Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce, is slated for May 4 at 7 p.m.
  • The Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast is scheduled for May 11 at 8:30 a.m.
  • The Palm Springs International Jazz Festival is scheduled for the weekend of May 14 and 15 at the historic Plaza Theatre in Downtown Palm Springs.

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