Word that a Hurley Medical Center NICU nurse was reassigned after a racially-charged request spread fast, bringing the National Action Network (NAN) to Flint Tuesday.
"Her lawsuit was sitting on Rosa Parks' seat in Montgomery," NAN Michigan President Rev. Charles Williams II said.
Joined by a dozen other residents, Williams demanded answers in the case, in which nurse Tonya Battle claimed her patient's father requested in October 2012 that someone else care for his baby because she is black.
In a brief press conference, Hurley President and CEO Melany Gavulic said, "Upon making his demand, he then showed nurse Battle's supervisor his swastika tattoo which created anger and outrage in our staff."
In her lawsuit that was filed in January, Battle said her nurse supervisor reassigned her after the fatherâ??s request.
But Gavulic maintains, â??The father was informed that his request could not be granted, and as a result all nurses remained available to care for his baby."
The hospital remains mum on details such as whether management indeed posted a note that read, "No African American nurse to take care of babyâ?? on the assignment clipboard in the NICU.
"Silence is consent," Rev. Williams said.
Cecilia Rutherford, a former Hurley employee, said, â??They're not going to understand it because they're not African American. It's sad in this day and age."
NAN leaders said they have talked to Battle and plan to work with her.