After 22 months on the job, Good Samaritan Hospital’s Director of Nursing for Women Services Stefanie Sonico has been let go from the San Jose facility.
A spokesperson for the hospital said the company does not discuss personnel matters, but multiple sources close to the case tell the Investigative Unit the decision to lay off Sonico was a result of complaints about her and unsafe staffing levels within her department.
The Investigative Unit has been uncovering issues within Sonico’s department since June when Los Olivos Women’s Medical Group stopped sending its pregnant patients to Good Samaritan Hospital for deliveries and surgeries after a decades-long partnership. Multiple sources told NBC Bay Area this was due to staffing and other patient care concerns within the labor and delivery unit.
In July, federal health regulators put Good Samaritan Hospital’s Medicare contract on notice saying hospital leaders “failed to ensure nursing services were provided to meet the needs of patients.”
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The complete report by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Good Sam’s detailed plan of correction can be viewed here. Good Samaritan Hospital is owned by HCA Healthcare.
On the phone Monday, Sonico spoke with the Investigative Unit. She was upset and said she didn’t see this decision to lay her off coming.
“I’m in shock. I don’t know why I was let go, but I don’t have anything bad to say,” she said. “I’m very proud of my work at Good Sam, of my team and the hospital. There are good people at Good Sam. I’m proud of everybody, and I will miss them.”
The hospital sent NBC Bay Area a statement Monday saying, “Good Samaritan Hospital's policy is not to discuss personnel matters publicly. We hold all of our staff to the highest standards to ensure we can continue our 25-year track record of providing high-quality care and patient experience.”
In regards to its Medicare contract remaining in jeopardy with federal health regulators, hospital spokesperson Janine De La Vega wrote, “[regulators] acknowledged the significant progress we've made in addressing the concerns they outlined. We anticipate we will receive their formal report shortly. We have worked diligently on our corrective action plan and believe we have addressed all the issues raised.”
In August, the California Nurses Association said Good Samaritan Hospital and HCA Healthcare agreed to recruit 80 nurses and add 43 new nursing positions to address staffing shortfalls.
Candice Nguyen is an investigative reporter with NBC Bay Area. To contact her about this story or others, email email@example.com.