NEW YORK NURSE: April 2011
by Erin Silk
More than 75 NYSNA members exercised their powers of persuasion at a special members-only legislative workshop and lobbying event on March 14-15.
Members, both new to lobbying and seasoned advocates, gathered in Albany for a workshop on effective techniques and methods for speaking to legislators. After the presentation, attendees were invited to a networking dinner where they heard from Assembly Member Richard Gottfried (D - New York), a long-time friend of nursing and NYSNA.
As Gottfried outlined intentions for a bill that would help off-set the debilitating cuts to Medicaid, NYSNA member Barbara Delo pointed out that in her field of home health care, Medicaid resources for items like bandages are scarce. "We often run out of necessities like dressings before the end of the month. Will your bill help with that?” she asked.
Although Delo’s question was not specifically addressed, the assemblyman gave every indication that he would not forget the day-to-day barriers that nurses face in providing quality care with limited funds.
As in previous years, the executive state budget is being hotly debated with many special interests groups vying for funding. NYSNA Governmental Affairs Director Shaun Flynn reminded members “There will be cuts to Medicaid, but the question remains how much, how fast? Presenting a united front during this debate is crucial to moving nursing legislation forward in the future.”