Registered nurses are calling on the wealthy Sutter corporation to keep open an endangered residential drug and alcohol treatment center in Oakland for teenagers, including those from low-income families.
RN members of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United joined with other community members Monday, April 13 for a press conference outside the Thunder Road Adolescent Treatment Center to call on Sutter to commit the necessary resources to maintain the facility, the only one of its kind in the East Bay.
The nine-member board of Thunder Road was expected to vote Monday on whether to continue operation of the facility .
The center provides a variety of drug and alcohol rehabilitation and mental health and other medical services for the teens, many of them referred to the center through the criminal justice system or various social service agencies.
Yet, Sutter, which provides subsidies for the center through its Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, and holds four of the nine seats, is reportedly anxious to shut the facility.
Even with some news reports that Sutter was giving county officials additional time to find other operators of the facility, as of late last week, Sutter was reportedly discussing severance with Thunder Road staff and demanding a gag order on the staff from talking about Sutter’s plans.
The excuse is that Thunder Road loses money – even though Sutter has earned $3.5 billion in profits the past five years and is able to count its contributions to Thunder Road as a “community benefit” it is required to provide to maintain its non-profit status. In 2014, Sutter’s income from hospitals, care centers, and other services was $419 million, CEO Pat Fry recently announced.