SEIU 721 County of Ventura Front-Line Healthcare Workers Respond to Ebola Crisis

ebola-preparedness-premeet-group.JPGSEIU 721 healthcare workers at Ventura County Medical Center – (back row, left to right) Mark Richmond, Jose Esparza, Craig Winter Diane Valenzuela (front row, left to right) Shawn “Cookie” Perreira, Patricia Whitehead, Felicia Huerta, Wendy Castro, Emmett Faulconer, Nellie Fierros, Christina Singer.

SEIU 721 members in Ventura County initiated a meeting with the Ventura County Health Care Agency to review the County’s plan to keep workers and the community safe in light of the recent news that a second U.S. healthcare worker has contracted Ebola.

wendy-castro.JPG“I think the County listened to our concerns and points during the meeting, and this is a good first step. Those of us working the front lines do this critical risky work every day at all levels of the hospital. When the public needs support, public sector union workers will spring into action. We always have. We always will.”
-Wendy Castro, medical office assistant at Ventura County Medical Center’s ER

As events related to Ebola in our nation and around the world unfold, it is important to know that there are no suspected or confirmed Ebola cases in Ventura County.

At the urging of SEIU Local 721, front-line healthcare workers – representing areas from ER admitting to housekeeping – engaged in assessing the County’s current plan to minimize risks and maximize safety for workers and the community.

At the meeting, held on Tuesday, Oct. 21, at Ventura County Medical Center, workers and labor leaders underscored the importance of creating strong lines of communication through which workers on the front lines can voice questions and concerns and give input on best practices.
For more information on Ebola, including tools and resources for healthcare workers, see the Ebola toolkit.

For questions, contact Angela Portillo, healthcare agency worksite organizer, at

Categories: Tri-Counties | Ventura