One year ago, mother and Psychiatric Technician Donna Gross was murdered on the job at Napa State Hospital. On Sunday, Oct. 23, workers at Atascadero State Hospital will hold a vigil honoring her and commemorating the first anniversary of her death. Members of the community are invited to attend this event, taking place from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the hospital’s entrance. Simultaneous vigils will occur at all state hospitals and developmental centers across the state.
Donna’s murder sparked a statewide movement for improved living and working conditions for patients and staff at California’s state hospitals: the Safety Now Coalition. A recent study based on Department of Mental Health and Cal-OSHA records shows that assaults on psych techs rose by 30 percent and on RNs by 52 percent between 2005 and 2009. In the last five years, attacks on staff have doubled at ASH.
Twenty one years ago, ASH’s George Bergstresser was murdered on the job.
The coalition of five unions representing all non-managerial employees is dedicated to resolving the chronic safety deficiencies producing excessive workplace violence and obstructing ASH’s ability to fulfill its mission: treating the mentally ill and protecting the public.