Hospital workers pray for bankrupt Los Angeles hospitals to stay open

LOS ANGELES — After a hospital chain filed for bankruptcy a couple weeks, ago, workers — including many Filipinos — took to the streets, praying that their workplace which serves communities stay open.

Dozens of employees gathered outside of the St. Vincent Medical Center, one of six California hospitals operated by nonprofit Verity Health System of California, which declared bankruptcy last month.

The statewide chain has over 7,400 employees, many of them Filipino especially at St. Vincent bordering LA’s Historic Filipino-town, many of whom joined this vigil during their shifts.

Another vigil was also held this past week at St. Francis medical center in Lynwood.

“You promised to keep this hospital open and we will hold you to that promise the fight is not over,” said Alvin Medina.”Wee will fight for our patients, our community and our families.”

Verity filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy last August because of costs that include infrastructure updates, over a billion dollars worth of pension liabilities, and bond debt.

The owners have said that despite the bankruptcy, all 6 hospitals which are seeking funds and investments to upgrade its facilities will remain open as the company is restructured.

Verity adds that over a hundred entities including academic centers, hedge funds, and health systems have expressed interest on bidding for the hospitals.

Any sale of the hospitals will be overseen by the bankruptcy court.

About an hour south of here, the city of Lynwood has a backup plan for St. Francis Hospital. It plans to make a bid to purchase the center to keep it running in their community.

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