Click on the thumbnails for a larger image
NYSNA continues to be the principal voice supporting our nursing colleagues at Northern Westchester Hospital, who are demanding fair treatment under the law and appropriate charges to be filed against Douglas Kennedy in a now notorious case.
Our solidarity with our colleagues has garnered significant media attention and was a reminder of our important role in defending the profession and extending NYSNA’s influence as a voice for all working bedside nurses.
Last night at the Mount Kisco court house in Westchester County, NYSNA members and staff joined nurse colleagues from Northern Westchester Hospital in demanding that Douglas Kennedy be held accountable for his assault on two nurses from that hospital.
Three NYSNA nurses from neighboring Westchester Medical Center - DeBorah Briston, Julianne (Jules) Hatzel and Donna Hemmer - were at the court house to show their support and speak to reporters about the Violence Against Nurses law. Their strong voices were appreciated by nurses and nurses’ families from Northern Westchester, who had been told by hospital management not to speak to reporters about the incident.
The judge did not dismiss the charges as Kennedy’s camp had hoped for. Another hearing has been tentatively scheduled for June 14 at 2:00 PM, during which a trial date may be decided.
When Kennedy and his entourage exited the court house, reporters from all major metropolitan area media demanded to know whether or not he assaulted the nurses at Northern Westchester.
When asked if he still thought he was in the right when the nurses, who were just following hospital policy, tried to stop him from leaving the hospital with his newborn son. Kennedy avoided the question and instead shamelessly invoked the memory of his dead father, Robert Kennedy, who was ‘taken from him’ when was a baby, saying that he was “protecting my son from a complete stranger,” because he was “so shocked” that the nurses were trying to take his son from him.
Understandably, this did not sit well with the nurses and prompted more questions from reporters about how he kicked one nurse and twisted the arm of another, all of which is caught on tape. NYSNA opposes violence against nurses and violence against women - and that is what is the heart of this issue.
The NYSNA members were interviewed again by the press after Kennedy's statements.
Video and coverage of the three NYSNA members who spoke at the court house are below. Many thanks to Donna, Jules and DeBorah for representing NYSNA and the profession in a very positive way.
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for nursing in the Empire State. With more than 37,000 members, it is New York’s largest professional association and union for registered nurses. The association represents registered nurses, and some all-professional bargaining units, in New York and New Jersey. It supports nurses and nursing practice through education, research, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining.