NYS State and the Feds: Make sure money goes to hospitals that are truly serving low-income and uninsured people
There are longstanding inequities in how hospitals have been funded through past Medicaid waivers and other decisions. Over the past ten years, we have witnessed the closure of 19 hospitals in New York City, with many of those closings occurring in low-income, immigrant, and communities of color. Financial distress has been one of the major causes of these closures. We need to make sure that our hospitals are adequately and fairly funded.
Please sign the moveon.org petition created by our allies at CPHS and spread the word!
New Brooklyn Theater will perform “The Death of Bessie Smith” at Interfaith Medical Center. The play centers on a black woman who is refused care at an all-white hospital. This is an important artistic project about healthcare inequality that will take place at a hospital threatened with closure that serves low-income patients of color. The play will begin performances Thursday, January 9, 2014 and run through Sunday, January 19.
Tickets are free, but there is limited availability, so don’t delay. Click here to get your tickets now!
In a story for the Daily Gazette, L.D. Davidson points to the diminishing power of the middle class and growing income inequality as the reasons workers need the protection of unions now more than ever. Nurses at Bellevue were being forced to take on 10 patients at once and endure unilateral changes from management with no voice in patient care. That’s why they voted to join NYSNA.
We are making our NYSNA one strong, united voice for patient care and nursing practice. Join your fellow nurses at these upcoming Inter-Regional Meetings to find out how to get involved in our campaigns for quality patient care and good contracts. Contact your NYSNA delegate or rep today to let us know you’re coming to one of these important meetings!
On New Year’s Day, NYSNA leaders attended the inaugurations of Mayor Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate Tish James, and Comptroller Scott Stringer, all of whom we endorsed because of their commitment to strengthening and expanding our public hospital system and protecting vital community hospitals. NYSNA played a pivotal role in electing these progressive patient advocates and we look forward to working together to build a better New York for our patients, and to holding these newly elected leaders accountable.
RNs at Bellevue Woman's Center voted overwhelmingly to join our union!
"I am so proud to become a NYSNA member," said Chris McCann, a nursery RN, when she announced the results at a victory party.
“This election is a great victory for nurses, our patients, and our entire community,” said Christine Walthers, Bellevue RN and a leader of the organizing drive. “We decided to join NYSNA after management started to make changes to how we care for our patients – without consulting us. Nurses and our patients need a voice in healthcare. NYSNA is that voice.”
On November 13th, a judge ordered that the hospital must stay open while further mediation occurs between owners that want to close the facility and the advocates of keeping Interfaith Medical Center open for care. NYSNA rallied at the courthouse while proceedings were occurring, and members were heartened by the news.
NYSNA members have noted that the facility is alone in serving the community, and that its closure would leave residents without medical care. Ari Moma, a NYSNA leader and RN in Psychiatric Services at Interfaith, noted that "today's decision to move forward with mediation was a positive step toward finding a solution that maintains healthcare access in Central Brooklyn. We are looking forward to contributing to the conversation with the goal of ensuring that any plan for the future of Interfaith takes the needs of the community into account.”
Moma went on to note that mental health services are of particular concern: “The Affordable Care Act mandates insurers to treat mental health care on par with physical health so the demand for psychiatric care will soon expand - at the same time we've seen cuts in mental health services, with fewer in-patient psychiatric beds in Brooklyn. Interfaith is the largest private provider of psychiatric services in the borough and essential to the care of thousands of mental health patients."