CANTON, Mass. — The Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA), which represents more than 20,000 registered nurses and health care professionals in Massachusetts, announced its endorsement and support for Shannon O’Brien for Governor and Chris Gabrieli for Lt. Governor, citing their in-depth understanding of nursing and health care issues, including their comprehensive agenda to address the nursing shortage and strong support for nurses efforts to improve care to patients through the regulation of nurse staffing levels. The announcement was made today at a press conference outside Waltham Hospital, where a number of front-line nurses from the MNA gathered with O’Brien and Gabrieli.
"The MNA has unanimously endorsed Shannon O’Brien because she understands nurses and our passionate commitment to health care and the important role we play in advocating for safe, quality care," said Sandy Ellis, chairperson for the MNA’s political action committee. "As the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, she shares that commitment and has expressed strong support for legislation to create RN-to-patient ratios to assure safe and appropriate staffing levels for patients and improved working conditions for nurses and other health professionals."
Recent reports by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and the New England Journal of Medicine show that thousands of patients are being harmed because of poor staffing conditions in our hospitals.
The MNA contrasted O Brien’s approach to the current health care crisis with that of Mitt Romney. "While her opponent’s health plan contains not one word about the nursing shortage, Shannon O Brien has laid out a comprehensive plan, with a commitment to create a broad collaborative approach among government providers, educators, labor organizations and the MNA to address this problem," said Ellis.
The MNA has also cited the O’Brien/Gabrieli ticket’s support for greater oversight of health care in the wake of years of Republican governors neglect of the system.
While the past 12 years have seen Republican governors promote a deregulated, free market system of health care chaos, Shannon O’Brien is outspoken in her call for increased government oversight of the system with comprehensive planning and coordination in the health care system.
The MNA also cited O’Brien’s plan for enhancing the state’s commitment to Medicaid to stabilize the health care system and increase access to quality care for Massachusetts residents. The O’Brien/Gabrieli health plan calls for increased case management and prevention efforts to improve care to Medicaid patients, and looks to increase the utilization of home care as an alternative to costly inpatient care. This approach places a strong emphasis on the role of nurses.
The MNA also cites O’Brien’s plan to address the prescription drug problem for seniors by enhancing the Prescription Advantage program and through engaging in innovative drug purchasing programs.
"We as nurses, and especially our patients, have suffered greatly over the last decade of Republican rule," Ellis concluded. "It is time for a change. And that is why the nurses of the MNA will do whatever we can to elect Shannon O’Brien the next Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts."