Meet and hear

Three outstanding public servants agreed to participate in the Biennial this year and they are featured, below. Each one has shown extraordinary commitment to the issues of equal access to quality care for all New Yorkers, RN staffing and patient safety. They bring a dimension of integrity to government and serve as stellar examples of public service.

Tish James, JD, is the Public Advocate of New York City. Her advocacy in behalf of healthcare equality and commitment to fighting to keep hospitals open is second to none.

In Public Officials in New York State: Redefining Advocacy for Patients & Nurses, Ms. James examines the legacy of government austerity and deregulation in the face of the corporatization of healthcare. Going forward, key New York public officials are redefining their roles as advocates for patients, RNs and all caregivers. The NYC Public Advocate shares her experiences and perspective on social and economic disparity that is informing a vital transformation.

Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson represents the Bronx and Mount Vernon is the 36th District of New York State. She worked for 35 years as a nurse and substance abuse counselor at Mount Vernon Hospital. She advocates for safe staffing single-payer legislation.

Her presentation, RNs and Healthcare Professionals Respond to Gun Violence, examines how an average of 88 Americans die per day from firearm violence, while another 202 per day are seriously injured. She discusses how, in response to recent shootings, nurses are advocating for measures, including legislation, to prevent gun violence. This program is designed for nurses who want to learn how to advance measures to address gun violence in the U.S.

New York State Senator Bill Perkins represents Manhattan in the 30th District. He has been a member of the Senate since 2006 and is the lead sponsor for S.2078A, a bill to create a universal, single-payer health plan – New York Health.  

In Single-Payer Healthcare for All: Registered Nurses Respond to the Call for Universal Healthcare in New York State and Nationwide, Senator Perkins brings a critical assessment of U.S. healthcare as the basis to prescribe universal care in New York and beyond. He diagnoses the current U.S. healthcare crisis and describes how universal healthcare could provide a cure at both the state and national levels. Nurses and healthcare professional practitioners share in his overview of the current debate about the healthcare system, and gain an understanding on what is at stake for patients and caregivers, and how to get involved.

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