Nurses union calls for CEO Schon to resign from Dickinson hospital

News from the Michigan Nurses Association
Contact: Dawn Kettinger or (517) 721-9688

Leader fails to provide accountability, transparency amid financial chaos

(IRON MOUNTAIN, MI) – The Michigan Nurses Association, the union representing the registered nurses at Dickinson County Healthcare System, today called for hospital administrator and CEO John Schon to resign. The call comes as the hospital heads toward bankruptcy after two potential buyers pulled away due to financial chaos.

“It’s not right that John Schon gets a $1.3 million pension payout while the rest of us face huge uncertainty amid bankruptcy,” said Susan Berquist, RN, who works in the Emergency Department and is the president of the MNA union at the hospital. “Under his leadership, the hospital was driven into such a bad financial position that our whole region’s economy is at risk. As our community struggles to move forward, we all deserve accountability and transparency – values that John Schon clearly does not share. It’s past time for him to go.”

Very little information has been made public regarding why the hospital is in such bad financial shape. Furthermore, the hospital communicated very little with the unions regarding the potential sale – including possible pitfalls they may all have been able to work together to help prevent.

Meanwhile, in addition to his $271,000-a-year salary, Dickinson County Healthcare System spends tens of thousands of dollars to cover Schon’s benefits, part of his vehicle costs, and part of his country club membership.

“Everyone is outraged that the CEO who led us into this mess doesn’t have to answer for it, and could actually come through unscathed,” said Shirley Dishaw-Beck, RN, a cardiac and pulmonary rehab nurse and secretary of the MNA union at the hospital. “We are all dedicated employees who want the best for our hospital and our patients, and no one has faith in a leader who won’t take responsibility and won’t share information.”

The union stated that if Schon does not resign, the Dickinson County Healthcare System Board of Trustees should terminate his employment. If the Board fails to fire him, the Dickinson County Board of Commissioners should do so.

MNA is the largest, most effective union for registered nurses in Michigan, advocating for nurses and their patients at the State Capitol, in the community, and at the bargaining table.


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