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Pico Union health clinic employees, patients plan rally

Concerned about the future of a storied Pico Union health clinic, a group of employees, patients and supporters planned to stage a rally Tuesday evening to call for the resignation of the president of the clinic’s board of directors. 

Clinica Monseñor Oscar A. Romero, which was founded in the 1980s by Central American refugees, grew over the years to offer vital services to tens of thousands of immigrants, including the undocumented.

But the clinic has been beset by financial difficulties and controversy over the last several months. Many workers have been laid off, and some who remain have had to do without insufficient medical supplies, including needles and basics like toilet paper.

Organizers of the protest said they would call on Board President Carlos Vaquerano to resign.

Calls to Vaquerano on Tuesday afternoon were not immediately returned. But in an interview earlier this summer, Vaquerano blamed the general state of the economy for the troubles and said he did not plan on stepping down.

Protesters said they are troubled by an exodus of medical workers and worry that the clinic will not be able to continue serving the community. They planned to rally on Vaquerano’s office just a few blocks away from the clinic.

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-- Paloma Esquivel

 
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