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Anonymous letter describes poor working conditions at Monroe Community Hospital

Outside of Monroe Community Hospital in April 2021.
James Brown
Outside of Monroe Community Hospital in April 2021.

An anonymous letter made public Wednesday said that Monroe Community Hospital is a hostile work environment. 

The letter was released during a news conference by the Monroe County Legislature’s Black and Asian Caucus. When asked how many complaints there are, Legislator Ernest Flagler-Mitchell would not say.

“We’re keeping that confidential because of the retaliation they say they've received when they make complaints to the hospital,” Flagler-Mitchell said. 

The writer, a person claiming to be a hospital worker, said they are speaking on behalf of the nurse managers, LPNs, RN’s, CNAs and residents. 

“We do not expect anything will be done but we do want you to hear how we are struggling and how higher ups don’t even care,” the worker wrote.

The letter said the hospital is very understaffed. It also claims managers are disrespectful and mandate double shifts. When someone refuses the extra hours, the writer said that they get punished and sometimes fired. 

“We have all been told, ‘You should be used to this now, this is the new normal,' ” said the letter. “We are burnt out and (under) paid and they don’t care. It’s all about money to them.”

The letter, dated Feb. 4, 2021, also claims that the conditions for residents are causing significant physical

County Legislator Vince Felder center flanked by County Legislators Calvin Lee (left) and Ernest Flagler-Mitchell (right).
Credit James Brown / WXXI News
County Legislator Vince Felder center flanked by County Legislators Calvin Lee (left) and Ernest Flagler-Mitchell (right).

and psychological damage. 

“Here it is winter and we put three or five blankets on the residents to keep warm because one minute the heat works and the next minute it's broke,” said the letter. “The residents pay good money and they can’t get heat.”

WXXI News reached out to Monroe County Executive Adam Bello’s office about these claims but has not heard back yet.

As a result of this and past problems at the hospital, Legislator Vince Felder said it's time for the county executive to relinquish control of it. 

“We need to have a board that can actually govern that hospital. I think it's too much to put on a county executive to try to manage a hospital,” said Felder, who is up for reelection later this year. “We’re being told one thing publicly and we hear things like this privately, because no one is really watching the store.”

Felder said an act of the Legislature could turn the hospital advisory board into a governance board. He said the Legislature would need to act to make that happen.

Flagler-Mitchell said the caucus has contacted the Office of Public Integrity on the issue. He is facing an ethics probe of his own for sending lewd photos to a teenager last year. He claims that was a mistake. Flagler-Mitchell would not take any questions on that issue Wednesday. 

The letter is below:

Mch Letter by WXXI News

James Brown is a reporter with WXXI News. James previously spent a decade in marketing communications, while freelance writing for CITY Newspaper. While at CITY, his reporting focused primarily on arts and entertainment.