Press release: Today, Congressman Jim McGovern led a rally with a large group of Worcester elected officials and nurses in support of Question 1, An act relative to patient safety and hospital transparency (the Patient Safety Act). Following the rally, nurses and supporters hit the doors across Central Massachusetts, asking voters to say yes for patient safety.
Gathered in the rain, Congressman McGovern rallied the crowd saying: “I love our nurses. When people ask me why I’m supporting yes on one, I tell them two words: Patient Safety. That is it. That is what this is all about. All the other stuff that’s being said? That’s all noise. Let’s bring it back to what it’s all about. It’s about patient safety. I don’t come from a family of doctors or nurses; I come from a family of patients. I depend on our nurses, and I want to make sure there are enough nurses to take care of people when they get sick. I am proud to be part of this effort and I am proud to be from this city. Worcester is a Yes on One city. Virtually every single elected official is endorsing Question 1. And I just want to say for the record: I’m Congressman McGovern, and I’m voting yes on one.”
View video of the rally: https://www.facebook.com/SafePatientLimits/videos/288707545187075/.
Congressman McGovern was joined by a number of other elected officials, candidates, and community leaders, including: District Attorney Joe Early; Worcester Mayor Joe Petty; Clerk of Courts Dennis McManus; Representative Mary Keefe; City Councilors Sarai Rivera, Kate Toomey, George Russell, Candy Mero-Carlson; Candidate for State Representative David LeBoeuf; Candidate for Register of Deeds Katie Toomey; Candidate for Governor’s Council Paul DePalo; Joe Carlson, President of the Central Massachusetts AFL-CIO, representing 400,000 workers; Richard Shea, Central Massachusetts Coordinator from the Massachusetts Teachers Association, representing 110,000 teachers, faculty, professional staff and education support professionals working at public schools, colleges and universities across Massachusetts.
Nearly all other Worcester elected officials have also endorsed Yes on Question 1, including: Senate President Emerita Harriette Chandler; Senator Michael Moore; Representative Jim O’Day; Representative John Mahoney; Representative Dan Donahue; Worcester City Councilors Khrystian King, Matt Wally, Moe Bergman, Gary Rosen, and Sean Rose.
“As District Attorney, I’m working every day to keep the residents of Worcester County safe and that is why I’m voting yes on Question 1,” said District Attorney Joe Early, Jr. “Nurses in our hospitals face complex challenges every day, including their role on the front lines fighting the opioid epidemic. It is vital we don’t risk anyone’s safety by assigning RNs too many patients at once.”
“Like most every city in America, Worcester has a ‘Meds and Eds’ economy,” said Mayor Joseph M. Petty. “Nurses are not just on the front lines of care for patients and public health issues but they are also one of the cornerstones of our local economy. I stand with the nurses on Question 1 because they are not just the people who provide care to my loved ones but because they contribute so much to our city as a whole.”
“I hear from nurses in my district and it’s clear that safe patient limits will lead to better care. I’m standing with the nurses and saying yes for Question 1,” said Councilor George Russell.
For nearly two decades, Registered Nurses in Massachusetts hospitals have been reporting they regularly must care for too many patients at once. Research studies from more than 70 peer-reviewed journals (https://bit.ly/TheScientificResearch) have repeatedly proven that when a nurse’s patient assignment is too large, patients’ health, safety, and outcomes suffer. Even with such facts, data, and firsthand stories in place, hospital executives have refused to make the necessary improvements to nurses’ patient assignments. In response, nurses have opted to take the issue directly to Massachusetts voters in the form of Question 1, which will set a safe maximum limit on the number of patients assigned to a nurse at one time. In response, the hospital industry and its paid executives have spent millions of taxpayer dollars on an opposition campaign that is meant to intentionally confuse voters with lies and inaccurate data. Elected leaders representing the city of Worcester have not been fooled however, and have instead banded together in support of Question 1.