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Statement on proposed closure of Polk and White Haven Centers

For Immediate Release: August 14, 2019

For more information, contact: 

Karen Gownley 717-805-6070


SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania President Matthew Yarnell Responds to Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Announcement Regarding Closure of Polk State Center and White Haven State Center

“As the healthcare union representing state nurses and health professionals in the Commonwealth, we are concerned by Wednesday’s announcement that the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services seeks to close Polk State Center in Venango County and White Haven State Center in Luzerne County.

The union members who care for the residents of these Centers know that the relationships and bonds formed are critical to delivering the quality care needed to treat the needs of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Especially in this field, consistent care is vital.

We are in the process of engaging with Governor Wolf’s administration and the 36 SEIU Healthcare PA members at Polk and White Haven to better understand the situation and challenges, and what is best for everyone involved.

Union members of Pennsylvania are in the unique position to have a voice at the table to advocate for those they care for, their jobs and their communities. It is imperative that the residents of these Centers continue to receive the level of care they need and that the Commonwealth is committed to maintaining good, family-sustaining jobs to retain committed caregivers for this vulnerable population.”

Matthew Yarnell, President, SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania




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