9620 W Greenfield Avenue   West Allis   WI 53214-2645

Voice: 414-475-6065  800-828-2256   FAX: 414-475-5722
HOT LINK to WFNHP President => Candice Owley
Related Wisconsin Case Law => RETALIATE

Candice Owley, WFNHP President:


Market driven health care and the push for increased
profits has had a profound effect on issues of patient
safety and quality of care. The emphasis on cutting
costs, replacing highly trained professionals with
lesser trained, lower paid workers raises the serious
question of whether patient care is not
also being compromised.

The Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health
Professionals is concerned about health care workers
who have spoken out about these issues, both here in
Wisconsin and nationwide; and, as a result, have
faced attacks on their professional integrity
and right to free speech.

Here's just a few examples of how health care
professionals have been affected when
they have dared to speak out:

In Milwaukee, the President of the Nurses' Union
was sued for libel when she spoke out about
the "de-skilling" of the work force in a
local hospital lab. After intense negative
publicity, the lab dropped the lawsuit.

In Milwaukee, a hospital illegally threatened to sue
three health care workers, who were also union reps,
for speaking out about patient care on their ward.

In St. Croix, two nursing home workers were fired
for reporting abuse and neglect of the home's residents.

In Pennsylvania, Beverly Enterprises sued a local
union President, saying she "slandered" the
company in remarks she made to members
of Congress at a town meeting.

In New York, Beverly Enterprises sued the Director
of Labor Education Research at Cornell University
for comments made about Beverly at this
same town meeting in Pennsylvania.

In Massachusetts, one nurse was fired and two others
reprimanded for voicing complaints about unsafe
staffing and the impact on patient care. All
were ultimately vindicated in NLRB rulings.

These are just a few of probably hundreds of examples
why it is in the public interest, as well as the
interest of all health care professionals, to see
"whistleblower" legislation enacted. There must be
a clear public policy that protects the right of
health care professionals to speak out when patient
care and safety are compromised. That's why the
Wisconsin FNHP has initiated a drive to secure
passage of "whistleblower" legislation to protect
the professional integrity and free speech rights
of both health care professionals and citizens who
believe patient care is being negatively affected.

So far, only two states have enacted such
legislation - New Jersey and Minnesota.

Wisconsin needs the same protection.



We, the undersigned, citizens of the state of Wisconsin
and health care consumers, by our signature hereby
express our concern over the potential effect
on patient safety and the quality of care
in an increasingly profit driven
health care delivery system.

We believe that the health care professionals, into
whose hands we place our lives and our trust, must
have the right to speak out on our behalf, should
they witness any compromise in acceptable standards
of care and patient safety. In order to assure their
professional right to freedom of speech we support
the call for "whistleblower" legislation to protect
health care professionals against threats and
retaliation as they seek to fulfill their
professional and ethical obligation to us,
their patients. Please enter below legibly:

NAME           ADDRESS       CITY        ZIP

For information on above petition campaign,
Send your E-Mail to Candice Owley => CANDICE.
Or contact The Wisconsin Federation of Nurses
9620 West Greenfield Avenue  West Allis 53214
800-828-2256  414-475-6005   FAX 414-475-5722
E-Mail to WFNHP President  => Candice Owley
Related Wisconsin Case Law => RETALIATE