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Seniors to protest TCU closure

Posted: May 13, 2008 1:38 a.m.
Updated: July 14, 2008 5:01 a.m.

A sign at the entrance to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital announces a public hearing about the conversion of Transitional Care Unit beds into surgical beds. A group of senior citizens plans to protest the closure of the TCU this evening outside Santa Clarita City Hall.

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A group of senior citizens plan to rally outside of Santa Clarita City Hall at 5 p.m. tonight to protest the decision to close Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital's transitional care unit.

Hospital officials announced last week that the hospital plans to convert the 27-bed skilled nursing unit to general surgical beds by June 5.

The transitional care unit, which consists of mostly seniors, acts as a stepping stone for those who have been discharged from the hospital but are not well enough to go home.

Seniors protested outside the hospital more than a year ago when the hospital first announced its plans to close the unit.

Hospital officials have said that the need for general hospital beds is greater than the need for transitional care beds.

Dr. Gene Dorio, who specializes in geriatrics at Newhall Memorial, has said that because there is only one other skilled nursing facility in the Santa Clarita Valley, many local seniors will need to go to the San Fernando Valley for skilled nursing services.

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