At 10 speak-outs, RNs say why HHC is vital to NYC

Nurses at Queens Hospital Center speak out to tell New Yorkers why our public hospital system is so important. HHC serves more than a million NYC residents.

HHC is our city’s healthcare lifeline. And our hospitals are powered by the care of NYSNA nurses. That was the message we brought to New Yorkers today at 10 speak-outs held across the city — at Bellevue, Harlem, Metropolitan, Queens, Elmhurst, Jacobi, North Central Bronx, Lincoln, Kings County, and Coney Island.

See photos from across today's actions on NYSNA's Facebook page.

“Without HHC, more than a million New Yorkers would have nowhere to turn,” said Anne Bove, HHC and Mayorals Executive Council President, in an email to all NYSNA nurses in HHC. “At HHC, no patient is ever turned away – regardless of income, immigration status, or ability to pay. HHC is the country's largest and best public hospital system – and the care we give is the heart of HHC.”

“Over the last few decades, NYC has become the capital of inequality,” said Georgiana Chin, RN and NYSNA leader at Bellevue. “Except for us. We are the difference — the most significant bulwark against the inequality that’s come to define our city.”

HHC's hospitals, nursing homes and treatment centers care for nearly one-fifth of all general hospital discharges and more than one-third of emergency room and hospital-based clinic visits in all of New York City. That's what makes it the largest municipal healthcare system in the United States, serving 1.3 million city residents.

Bellevue RN Georgiana Chin told this group that our HHC system is a powerful force for equality in NYC.

"We get the job done, 24/7"

“As nurses, we are HHC's backbone. We get the job done, 24/7. Through storms, floods, catastrophes — we are there,” said Sean Petty, RN, Jacobi RN and NYSNA board member. “Today we are here to fight for the best public healthcare system."

After many years of stalling by the Bloomberg administration, today nurses were celebrating that we are back at the table in mediation for a fair contract that protects the future of HHC, our patients, and nursing practice. “Our patients are our number one priority,” said Lindella Artman, RN and NYSNA president at Queens Hospital. Curlean Duncan, RN at Kings County, agreed: “We are speaking out so we can provide the best care for our patients.”

Tell us why HHC matters to you. Go to NYSNA’s Facebook page to see more photos from today and to leave a comment about why our public hospital system is so important.