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MNA Proposes Safe Standards for Resumption of Normal Healthcare Operations, Calls for Frontline Worker Perspective in Re-Opening Plans in Governor Letter on COVID-19

CANTON, Mass., May 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Nurses and healthcare professionals represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association have written recommendations for the safe resumption of normal operations at healthcare facilities and are calling on state officials to include the voices of frontline workers as COVID-19 re-opening plans are developed and implemented.

"While we anticipate moving toward more normal healthcare operations, we must be absolutely vigilant that facilities provide widespread testing, protective equipment and safe staffing levels," said RN and MNA President Donna Kelly-Williams. "Up to this point, many decisions have been made that have not incorporated the perspective of nurses and healthcare professionals at the bedside. If we re-open hospitals and other parts of our society without listening to frontline workers, we place our ability to defeat this pandemic at grave risk."

As stated in the MNA's May 4 letter to Gov. Charlie Baker, "Throughout the pandemic... too many hospitals have been incapable of making prompt, appropriate decisions in the best interests of their staff and patients. We fear the desire to generate revenue through elective procedures could override the need to ensure proper protections are in place before resuming these procedures. Unfortunately, these fears are not unfounded."

The irresponsible actions of healthcare employers like Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare demand rigorous and enforceable standards for the resumption of elective surgeries and other non-essential services. These standards must be created with input from healthcare workers on the front lines. Tenet has cut frontline staff at Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester, creating unsafe conditions during the pandemic despite making public statements about the for-profit company's superior financial position.

Read the full criteria recommendations within the May 4 MNA letter to Gov. Charlie Baker at www.massnurses.org/COVIDgovletter (PDF will open). See a video of MNA Executive Director Julie Pinkham discussing hospital resumption of normal operations: https://youtu.be/vb5zn8hGTQk.

Highlights of MNA Criteria for Resumption of Normal Healthcare Operations

Given the potential public health impact for premature resumption of full service at these facilities, there must be strict oversight of this process and no institution should be allowed to resume normal operations until these measures have been documented and verified.

Read additional criteria at www.massnurses.org/COVIDgovletter (PDF will open).  

In its ninth letter to Gov. Baker, Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders and the Massachusetts Legislature, the MNA, representing more than 23,000 frontline nurses and healthcare professionals in 85 healthcare facilities and the vast majority of RNs in hospitals statewide, calls on state officials and healthcare employers to immediately apply the experience and expertise of nurses and healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Highlights of Ongoing COVID-19 Issues from May 4 Gov. Letter:

Read the full May 4, 2020 MNA letter to Gov. Baker and more information at www.massnurses.org/COVID-19.

MassNurses.org ? Facebook.com/MassNurses ? Twitter.com/MassNurses ? Instagram.com/MassNurses

Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association is the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its 23,000 members advance the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Legislature and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.

SOURCE Massachusetts Nurses Association

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