On the periphery of NYC's Union Square this week, a meeting convened by Physicians for a National Health Program, dubbed "Labor and the ACA: Problems, Threats, and the Road Forward," filled the conference room with committed advocates of single payer –
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.
“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.”
Last Saturday, LICH staff said goodbye to our friend and colleague, NYSNA member Anne Evans. She was a registered nurse for over 40 years and practiced in the OR, ER, Psychiatry, and the ICU, where she was our mentor and teacher. Anne was a kind person, generous person, a loyal friend, and a compassionate and skilled nurse. She touched the lives of her patients and taught countless nurses and doctors in her career in direct patient care. LICH staff, her family and friends gathered to share our memories of Anne with laughter and tears. At the same time, we also had the chance to remember her best friend, Kathy Buero Howard, another NYSNA member and LICH ICU nurse whom we lost several years ago. In life, they were always up to something and kept us laughing.
On Friday, NYSNA nurses rallied with community activists and fellow RNs in support of the Robin Hood Tax in both Chicago and NYC. Nurses united to call for Wall Street to pay their fair share in order to stop the tide of growing inequality and support struggling hospitals and quality healthcare for all.
The state removed the application of Big Apple Dialysis Management, LLC from the agenda of the scheduled March 27 meeting of the NYS Department of Health’s Public Health and Health Planning Council, due to efforts by the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Big Apple is a for-profit dialysis company that wants to take over four chronic dialysis facilities now within New York City’s public hospital system. But patients, caregivers, nurses, doctors, and elected leaders have united to stop the privatization of chronic dialysis services at HHC.
“Removing dialysis patients from the public hospital clinics is ill-conceived,” said Anne Bové, RN, president of the HHC Executive Council of the New York State Nurses Association. “A for-profit company with a problematic track record in these services will not provide the same level of quality care to our patients and we question whether the savings figures are accurate, as well.”