NEW YORK NURSE: May 2011
by Alison Munday
Mary Finnin, a retired HIV/AIDS primary care nurse coordinator, secretary of the NYSNA Board of Directors and vice-president of the Foundation of New York State Nurses, has been named a “Community Member” to the Co-Applicant Board for the Governance of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) by the presiding officer for the Suffolk County Legislature. Community Members are selected for their established community roots and because they possess professional, technical, or occupational expertise in areas such as community affairs, local government, finance, health, labor or social services agencies. Finnin’s expertise and experience as a registered nurse was also cited in her nomination. FQHCs were established in the 1990s in an effort to bring low-cost comprehensive health care to underserved communities, and the federal government has been providing incentives to local health centers to seek FQHC status. The Suffolk County FQHC has the potential to receive almost $7.5 million annually, and other benefits include access to favorable drug pricing, eligibility to apply for malpractice coverage under the Federal Tort Claim Act, and access to other federal grant opportunities that are not currently available to counties.
Ani Kalayjian, professor of psychology at Fordham University. president of the Association for Trauma Outreach and Prevention (ATOP) and NYSNA member, returned from Haiti in late January. The journey marked the one-year anniversary of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake on January 12, 2010, which impacted at least three million people, 2.8 million in the Port-au-Prince region alone. The trip was originally intended as a conference, but plans changed due to election upheavals, and an outbreak of cholera that has killed more than 4,000 people. Kalayjian’s team proceeded on a humanitarian and evaluation mission. At the precise time of the original earthquake, Kalayjian said, vehicles stopped, people stood still, and sang and prayed. “The sun set very quickly and people began dancing in the streets in the dark, as candles were lit everywhere. Driving to Jacmel, the beautiful mountains on the southeast side of Haiti, we couldn’t believe the hundreds of thousands of people still in the streets, singing, dancing, celebrating their survival…embracing one another.”
Members of the NYSNA Ellis Medicine Executive Committee were honored by the Capital District Labor-Religion Coaltion (CDLRC) in April for their “intestinal fortitude, strength and courage, [for] staying true to their mission of representing the interests of their RN colleagues and the patients they care for.” Donna Florkiewicz; Patricia Donahue; Suzanne Daley; Judith Marconi; Teresa Jewett; Suzanne Washington and Catherine Lucas received the “On the Frontlines” award at the 14th annual Joseph Powers-Jeanette Dworkin Memorial Awards ceremony. The annual award is presented to those whose work for justice has required unusual dedication and risk. It honors the strength and commitment necessary to create positive change in the workplace, the neighborhood, or in public institutions. When the Ellis contract expired in early 2010, nurses became embroiled in a long and contentious struggle with their employer. After more than a year of informational picketing, town hall meetings, protests and educating the public about the issues they faced, an agreement was reached for the almost 700 RNs. The CDLRC helps workers locally, nationally and globally to challenge corporate control and gain their rights through education, and support for organizing and advocacy.
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