News & Events

Region 4 Nurses Work to End Workplace Violence in March

MNA members from Region 4 were very busy in March, meeting with their legislators to help put an end to workplace violence.

On March 15th, a group of Region 4 members braved the rain and flooding to meet with their State Representative Barbara L’Italien in North Andover. The group included Kathy Renzi (Merrimack Valley), Terry Melnikas (Lawrence General), Lori Donovan (Anna Jaques) and Jeanine Hickey, who were able to educate Representative L’Italien on the problem of workplace violence in hospitals. The group shared personal stories and had a great discussion with the Representative about the MNA’s package of workplace violence prevention legislation.

Region 4 nurses continued their lobbying efforts on March 16th, when a group travelled to the State House to bring information on Senate Bill 988, An Act Requiring Health Care Employers to Develop and Implement Programs to Prevent Workplace Violence, to members of the House of Representatives and Senate. Kay Marshall and Marsha Froburg from Anna Jaques hospital, Helen French from the Chelsea Soldier’s Home and Peggy O’Malley of the MNA joined MNA activist Tina Russell to visit their own legislators as well as other legislators from Region 4. It was a great day and the group got to speak to many elected officials about the importance of our bill.

Finally, Region 4 nurses joined over 200 MNA members and nursing students for the MNA Lobby Day at the State House on March 31st. Region 4 members travelled by train and car to the State House where they all lobbied their State Representatives and Senators in support of House Bill 1696, An Act Relative to Assault and Battery on Health Care Providers. With nurses watching from the House gallery, the House of Representatives voted unanimously in favor of passing the assault bill!

The continuous efforts of region 4 members to support workplace violence prevention legislation paid off as the Senate joined the House of Representatives by also voting unanimously in favor of the assault bill during their session on April 15th.

The MNA’s workplace violence prevention package includes the following three bills:

Prevent the Violence: An Act Requiring Health Care Employers to Develop and Implement Programs to Prevent Workplace Violence (SB988) filed by Rep. Costello and Sen. Timilty. This bill would require health care employers to perform an annual risk assessment and based on those findings, develop and implement programs to prevent the violence in the first place.

Punish the Offenders: An Act Relative to Assault and Battery on Health Care Providers (HB1696/SB1753) filed by Rep. Rodrigues and Sen. M. Moore. This legislation would enhance penalties for patients/clients who assault nurses and healthcare professionals who are providing treatment to patients.

Manage Chronic Risks:  An Act Relative to Creating a Difficult to Manage Unit within the Department of Mental Health (HB1931) filed by Rep. Haddad. This legislation would create a "Difficult to Manage" unit for women within the Department of Mental Health and reinstate the "Difficult to Manage" unit for men.

If you would like to be involved with the Workplace Violence Prevention campaign, please contact Lainey Titus at 978.977.9205 or