I moved with my family to Antioch from Pleasant Hill when I was 6 years old. Antioch was a small community back then and my parents bought a brand-new home in Ridgerock. There were only a handful of streets in Ridgerock and it was surrounded by lots of hills and mustard greens.
I started attending Sutter Elementary in the first grade. I have fond memories of walking down the dirt trail to the 7-Eleven to get ice-cold slurpies on hot summer days. As we went to the 7-Eleven we would pass Delta Memorial Hospital. In July of 1976 my aunt gave birth to my cousin at Delta, but I was too young to visit, so I went up and visited with my friends through her hospital room window.
I went past Delta every day that I left my house. When I was 22 I got a job at Delta registering patients in the emergency room. I was so excited. I thought I got a job at the best place in Antioch. A landmark from my childhood. I loved working at Delta and gave birth to three of my daughters there.
Delta changed with the times and eventually became Sutter Delta. I worked for many years in registration and then I transferred to the patient accounting department. I love my job. I love serving the community in which I was raised. I work with awesome people at a place that really cares about our community. I’m proud to say that I work at Sutter Delta Medical Center.
In the next few months that’s all going to change, though. Due to the changing times Sutter Delta is going to become Alta Bates East Bay Campus DBA Sutter Delta. With this change my fellow workers and I in the patient accounting department will have to say good-bye to our Delta family and begin commuting to Oakland to work at Alta Bates. Sutter is actually giving our jobs away to another city. A majority of our office are dedicated, long-term Delta employees. One of my co-workers is close to retirement in a few years after 40 long years of dedicated service.
Sutter is a community-based hospital, but it is losing its charm and family atmosphere due to the almighty dollar. How sad is that? We’re going corporate. How can Sutter Delta care for the community if it can’t even care for and respect its own employees? Please help us to fight to save our jobs in Antioch and preserve our community hospital that we all have come to know and love.
Joanne Petsas-Bel, Antioch