Lancaster, CA — The tragic and sudden death of Urgent Care Registered Nurse (RN) Danny Sanchez, the Antelope Valley single father of 4, has become the flashpoint for DHS health care workers throughout L.A. County to collectively take a stand to end the rampant bullying at DHS facilities. Yesterday in a moving display of solidarity and support, High Desert Regional Health Center 721 members forged ahead with the first of several unity breaks set to take place during the next 30 days to keep Dr. Mitch Katz honest to his pledge of taking corrective actions to tackle the escalating bully problem.
One by one an array of High Desert employees including RNs, LVNs, Pharmacy Techs, Security Guards, and many more filed through the halls of High Desert hoisting their “Not One More” signs. From the appointment desk to the surgery room, Sanchez was loved by his union brothers and sisters, and in turn they all came to pay their respects at the outdoor unity break and small memorial in his name to let the bullies know–DHS workers will not be silenced.
They signed pledges to commit themselves to end bullying at DHS facilities, and they wrote messages on a public “Speak Out” poster board to show they’re not afraid and will continue breaking the silence in Sanchez’s name. Teary-eyed but collected, multiple people shared warm memories of Sanchez and condemned the torment he endured.
Sanchez’s co-workers believe management’s impunity and the cumulative effect of the bullying barrage endured by Sanchez were ultimately too much for the battered soul. Every day leading up to his death Sanchez expressed to his worksite brothers and sisters that he could no longer take the mental blows, and tragically foresaw his own demise. One of Sanchez’s last statements at work before he went home for the final time was uttering that the abusive situation would be “the death of him.”
The 7-year Urgent Care RN died of a heart attack that same evening, leaving behind 4 adult children just days before Christmas. He had only recently returned to his faith via the guidance of a security guard friend at High Desert who is also a Pastor, and will be delivering the eulogy at his funeral on Good Friday.
“The bullying by DHS employees is going to be the demise of the health for many of the very people at DHS who are responsible for healing and caring for the County’s sick and vulnerable,” says High Desert RN Lisa Gallardo.
“It’s a disservice to the patients we see at DHS facilities if our well-being is in peril when we are entrusted to provided life or death medical assistance,” she adds. “We are held to the highest standards to ensure our County is the provider of choice, yet discipline for bully behavior goes by the wayside. We’ve had enough and we’re urging the County to implement an accountability system with real enforcement and consequences for all bullies at DHS.”
Now more than ever DHS frontline care workers are uniting at facilities throughout the County to demand real accountability and a reporting system free of retaliation, and a training program for managers to put an end to worksite bullying once and for all. They need you to join them in breaking the silence against bullying by participating in a Unity Break at your worksite. It’s up to 721 members to be the agents of change in the workplaces. When we fight together, we win!
Contact your worksite organizer for the Unity Break happening in your DHS facilities.