NPR: Mission Hospital ignores nurse’s debilitating back injuries


NPR aired a 17-minute-long piece during its All Things Considered show on Wednesday spotlighting the back injury to a Mission Hospital nurse. Reporter Daniel Zwerdling’s story profiled Terry Cawthorn’s debilitating injury, and the hospital administration’s lack of response, as part of his series highlighting an epidemic of back injuries to nurses, and how hospital administrators are responding.

Zwerdling details Cawthorn’s painful story. He also interviews Mission CEO Ron Paulus, who says that as soon as he learned about the cases of injured workers after he took over in 2010, he installed new training programs and hired a consultant  to analyze how hospital officials have handled workers’ compensation cases since he took over. “Paulus says that Mission got a glowing report,” Zwerdling reports, adding that Paulus declined to provide a copy of the report to him.

Zwerdling reports that Paulus also told him Mission had spent money to buy machines that move and lift patients. Zwerdling continues:

Five nurses and other medical employees who still work with Mission, or worked there long after he took over, say that perhaps Paulus has changed the message “at the top.” But they haven’t seen much sign of change taking place at the hospital.

Listen to the in-depth series: NPR’s Injured Nurses series


Russell March 17, 2015 - 8:05 pm

If you’re physician is associated or has joined Mission you need to run as fast as you can. Trust me you will get SOAKED!

jenny harrison February 19, 2015 - 4:46 pm

Mission has not treated employees fairly for a long time. The System chooses to abandon faithful employees for the greenback.
There are many articles out there about how the pay of CEO’s and upper management are eating the budgets of hospital systems. They can’t fairly compensate their staff because they are over compensated themselves. Even worse some of their compensation is based on patient satisfaction which has nothing to do with Administration. The nurses at Mission Hospital give excellent care despite the barriers of decreasing benefits as imposed by Management.
I blame the board as well as the administration for creating the 500 pound gorilla that the Mission System has become. I just can’t believe that none of these MD,MBA,CEO people have never seen the articles in Modern Healthcare (Another Year of Pay Hikes for Non-Profit Hospitals CEO’s), or The New York Times (Medicines Top Earners Are Not the MD), Becker’s Hospital Review (The Elephant in the Room: Hospital CEO’s Paychecks) or on NPR’s website (What Should Make A Hospital CEO’s Paycheck Bigger) that state there is no basis in healthcare for these huge salaries.
I had a conversation about compensation issues with Dr. Paulus less than a year ago and he seemed to not comprehend what I considered obvious and what others consider to be the truth. He and his peers make too much money for the system to support.

So back to the injury compensation issue. I really appreciated this statement in defense of Mission leaving Terry Cawthorn in the dust:

“Ron Paulus, Mission’s CEO, told NPR that he didn’t know about the workers’ compensation cases involving Cawthorn and other employees when he took over in 2010. But he says as soon as he learned about them, he told his staff to forget the past and focus on creating a compassionate culture at Mission.”

By the way Ron this did not make you sound like a good guy, it makes you sound like you didn’t understand the problem (and on National Public Radio!). Terry says thanks a bushel. I say get your head out of……the sand.

Foothills Dweller February 19, 2015 - 2:34 pm

Mission doesn’t give two shits for it’s employees. This doesn’t surprise me at all.

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