NYSNA Treasurer Pat Kane, RN, gives support to the claim that no one is better prepared than a nurse to serve and advocate for the public in the powerful halls of the New York State Assembly.
The unique perspective that comes from dedication to patients—for Kane, caring for them in the OR—is what positions nurses to excel in public office. Professionals, like Kane of Staten Island University Hospital, are trained to listen and articulate answers and solutions, often under pressure. For these reasons, and many more, NYSNA is incredibly proud to endorse Pat Kane to represent the people of New York as an Assembly member for New York’s 61st District.
A life of dedication
New York needs more seasoned professionals like Kane in public office. As a nurse for 35 years and a Staten Island resident for more than 50, Pat Kane has confronted a wide range of healthcare issues, including substance abuse, the lack of mental health services, domestic violence, workers’ rights, and recovery and rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy.
“I’ve dedicated my life to the care of others and I think, as a registered nurse, I bring a unique and valuable perspective to this office,” says Kane.
She kicked off her campaign at Edificadores De Naciones Church in Staten Island on May 12—the last day of Nurses Week and the birthday of the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale.
“Her life and her work are a great inspiration to me,” Kane says of Nightingale. “I think she would be proud to see more nurses stepping up to the challenge of running for office.” This was more than a nod to Nightingale. Kane hopes her campaign will inspire women, especially young women, to stay politically active and to run for office.
Nurses and Staten Islanders turned out with enthusiasm to show their support and to hear Kane speak about the goals of her campaign. Front and center in her platform: healthcare.
“Improving and expanding access to healthcare in the 61st District is critically important,” she began. “Staten Island has never gotten its fair share of healthcare resources. We are the only borough in the city that does not have an acute care public hospital. It pains me to know that this community and the North Shore of Staten Island have some of the poorest health indicators in New York. We need an expansion of health clinics, psychiatric and dependent services, and improved access to our hospitals.”
However, building healthy communities is about far more than just healthcare, says Kane.
“Health starts right here in our homes, in our schools, in our workplaces, and in our neighborhoods,” she says. “Our health is greatly affected by economic opportunities and support, the quality of education and housing, the safety of our communities, the conditions in our workplaces, the cleanliness of our water, our food, and our air, and the nature and variety of our social interactions. Building a healthy community starts with understanding and implementing progressive policies.”
Environmental justice is one of those policy issues about which Kane feels very strongly. As a nurse, she has seen firsthand the effects of climate change on Staten Island.
“Staten Island suffered immensely from Hurricane Sandy and other storms, and we are especially vulnerable to threats imposed by climate change,” says Kane. “We need to meet the climate crisis head on—moving the economy to more renewable energy, protecting our community—because we are at the front lines of climate impact.”
Community involvement is key to achieving these goals, says Kane. “I hope to inspire more people to become civically engaged, to participate in the process, to vote,” she added.
A union tradition
Kane thanked her union family for attending the rally and praised the hardworking men and women who are the economic backbone of the community.
“We live and work in a city with strong unions and a strong commitment to workers’ rights. I plan to honor that tradition as a member of the Assembly. We are union, and we are one.”
Support Pat Kane, RN
If you want to donate to or volunteer for Pat Kane’s campaign for State Assembly, go to her page here.