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Fighting Forward for Patients, Celebrating Our “Everyday Hero”

The policymaking resolutions were brought to the floor of the Minneapolis Convention Center by AFT Connecticut First Vice President Jean Morningstar, who chaired the committee on Healthcare Access & Quality. In the coming months and years, member nurses and health professionals will work to bring to life the vision and principles endorsed unanimously on July 20.
“The convention was an opportunity to connect the work of our members in Connecticut to the broader fight for quality, affordable care in communities across the country,” said Morningstar. “We’re not alone in facing sweeping changes in the industry, and there’s a lot we can learn from the struggles of our sisters and brothers,” added Morningstar, who worked in medical research for nearly 30 years at UConn Health in Farmington.
Highlights among the health-related public policies supported by delegates were resolutions to support legislation addressing the high costs of prescription drugs, abusive medical billing and increased market concentration.
AFT Connecticut Vice President for Nurses and Health Professionals Lisa D’Abrosca rose to speak in support of Resolution #13, “Fighting Back Against Consolidation in Healthcare.” The president of our affiliated local union representing registered nurses at the facility echoed concerns shared by her colleagues and her patients back in New London. 
“We don’t want a conglomerate making decisions about community care,” said D’Abrosca, an RN in Lawrence + Memorial (L+M) Hospital’s medical/surgical hospice unit. Her facility has since last summer been targeted for take-over by Yale-New Haven Health Systems (YNHHS), the largest health network in Connecticut.
“Corporate America has no business in our business!” added D’Abrosca added, generating thunderous applause from fellow delegates.
Click here for recent news reporting on efforts to protect the New London region’s access to quality, affordable care.
The “Everyday Heroes” award for healthcare members was presented that afternoon to Danbury Nurses’ Unit 47 member Roger Woods (above), an emergency department registered nurse at Danbury Hospital. He was introduced to the nearly 3,000 delegates by AFT Executive Vice President Mary Cathryn Ricker.
Ricker shared how Woods’ work led him to pursue first-responder training through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). She explained how he used what he learned to help train his colleagues in using personal protective equipment when the Ebola crisis two years ago hit the U.S.
More recently, Woods became a certified clinical hypnotist; he is also known as the “patient whisperer,” using his skills to calm anxious patients and family members. 
Click here to learn more about Woods’ hypnosis services.
“I’ve been surrounded by positive successful, people who have shared their stories,” said Woods in accepting his award. “We need to remember we never do this alone. We never have and we never will. Everyone in this room is a success,” added Woods.
Click here to watch Woods accept his award at the convention.

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