News & Events

Mourning the death of Senator Kennedy

From the Massachusetts Nurse Newsletter
October 2009 Edition

By Andi Mullin
Legislative Director

Senator Kennedy as we remember him: Standing strong with striking nurses at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester in 2000.

It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of our friend, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy in late August.

It is impossible to overstate the incredible impact and contribution that Senator Kennedy made to the commonwealth of Massachusetts, to workers across the United States, and to the field of health care. Whether it was the expansion and strengthening of Medicare, raising the minimum wage, insuring fair treatment for people with disabilities, or expanding the protections for women who are victims of pay discrimination, Senator Kennedy was peerless in his dedication to and effectiveness at improving the quality of health care and improving the lives of workers.

He was also peerless in his advocacy for his beloved Massachusetts. There is not a health care institution in this state that has not benefited mightily from his fierce dedication over

the last 47 years. Nurses, doctors, health care professionals, administrators, patients – we have all profited from his devotion to our health care infrastructure, our workers, and our patients. He was essential to the successful resolution of the St. Vincent nurses strike in 2000, backing the nurses in their opposition to the unsafe practice of mandatory overtime. He came to the aid of our members time and time again over the years, in ways both large and small. We have lost an irreplaceable friend and ally, and we join others in deeply grieving that loss. We also, however, celebrate Senator Kennedy’s extraordinary life and remarkable accomplishments. We were so fortunate to have known him and to have had him as our friend. We will miss him terribly, but our lives are so much richer for having known him. We express our most heartfelt sympathies to his wife, children, and extended family.