NEW YORK NURSE: September 2011
The New York City Health and Hospital Corporation’s World Trade Center Environmental Health Center announced that in the ten years since the terrorist attacks, it has treated almost 6,000 people who lived, worked or went to school in Lower Manhattan and have suffered the medical and mental health effects of 9/11. The center’s statistics show a patient population that is young – the average age is 47 – and that has more than doubled in the last three years alone. The WTC health center operates at three HHC facilities: Bellevue Hospital Center and Gouverneur Healthcare Services in Manhattan and Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens. Some notable patient data includes:
St. Vincent’s Employees Federal Credit Union has approved a merger with McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union, which originally served only employees of the McGraw-Hill Companies in New York City, but has grown to encompass more than 100 businesses and organizations in its field of membership. The merger provides stability to the former employees of St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan, which closed last year. Although St. Vincent’s Employees Federal Credit Union was an independent financial service provider, the employees of the hospital were its primary members. St. Vincent’s Employees FCU brings to McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union 1,300 members and $8.5 million in assets. Following the completion of the merger, McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union will have approximately 18,500 members and $267 million in total assets. View a welcome message to St. Vincent’s Employees FCU members at www.mcgrawhillfcu.org/welcome.
NYSNA CEO Tina Gerardi has replaced outgoing Association President Karen A. Ballard on New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT), which has been charged with finding ways to save money and increase quality and efficiency in the state’s Medicaid program. Though MRT’s work, which lead to a broad range healthcare policy initiatives and the implementation of a global spending cap, has been and will likely continue to be controversial, NYSNA believes it is useful and appropriate to be “at the table” and have input into the ongoing decision-making about this important safety net program. Gerardi is scheduled to attend her first MRT meeting on Oct. 5 in Albany.
The American Nurses Association (ANA)has introduced the “Bringing Immunity to Every Community” campaign, designed to increase nurses’ knowledge and competency in immunization, encourage them to be vaccinated, and position them as leading advocates for immunization among peers, patients and the general public. The ANA campaign hopes to counter the public’s increasingly eroding trust in the efficacy of vaccines, despite significant declines in vaccine-preventable diseases over the years. According to the campaign material, increased outbreaks of measles, pertussis, and mumps have been noted nationwide. Resources to promote the campaign, including a “Nurses Have the Power to Protect” public service announcement on DVD; a free continuing education webcast and an uploadable poster, are available through www.ANAImmunize.org.
In the wake of the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision that cleared the way for significant cuts to state collective bargaining rights, Ohio residents rallied in force against an anti-labor bill signed into law by their governor, John Kasich, limiting collective bargaining rights for public employees such as firefighters, teachers, and other state workers. Senate Bill 5 (SB5) would eliminate binding arbitration and prohibit public employees from striking; permit public employers to not bargain on the subject of benefits; revises the process for contract disputes giving power to elected officials at state and local levels to resolve disputes with employees; cuts pay increases for public workers and requires them to pay more for their health insurance. It also limits sick leave and vacation time. We Are Ohio, a citizen-driven, community-based, bipartisan coalition including the Ohio Nurses Association, was created and is demanding the repeal of SB5 by way of a public referendum. A petition with almost 1.3 million signatures — five times more than required to obtain placement on November’s ballot — was submitted to the Ohio Secretary of State’s offices in Columbus, accompanied by a procession of 6,000 supporters. The Ohio Secretary of State has since announced that more than 900,000 signatures were validated from all 88 counties. In addition, all 88 counties exceeded the 3 percent threshold of voters from the last gubernatorial election.
We are saddened to report that Dr. Bernadine Healy, the first woman to direct the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the head of the American Red Cross during the September 11 terrorist attacks, has passed away at home in Cleveland, Ohio at the age of 67. She had been suffering from brain cancer. She was a frequent and outspoken contributor on women’s health issues on television programs and in print. Healey headed the NIH during the tenure of President George H.W. Bush. When President William J. Clinton did not reappoint Healy, she returned to Ohio, where she launched an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate in 1994. In 1999, she became dean of the Ohio State University Medical School and took over as president of the Red Cross. Healy had strong disagreements with the board of the Red Cross after 9/11, leading to her resignation. Healy is survived by her husband, Floyd Loop, former chief executive officer of the Cleveland Clinic, and two daughters.