For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Genovese, 518.782.9400, ext. 353
BUFFALO, Nov. 5, 2009 – The New York State Nurses Association today expressed its opposition to planned cuts to primary healthcare services at the Jesse E. Nash Health Center and the Dr. Matt Gajewski Human Services Center.
A rally to protest these closings will be held at 4 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 12, in front of Erie County Hall, 92 Franklin St. The Nurses Association is urging local residents to register their own opposition by calling the Erie County Executive Chris Collins at 716-858-8500 or the Erie County Legislature at 716-858-7500.
The county executive has eliminated funds in his 2010 budget that will force the closing of these two clinics. With 22,000 visits per year, the clinics have served the community, the under-insured, and the needy for more than 30 years. They help prevent disease by providing adult medicine, pediatrics, dental, family planning, obstetric, and podiatric care.
“We’re speaking out because registered nurses are, first and foremost, advocates for their patients,” said Russell Pelton, RN, Nurses Association representative. “These clinics are vital to the health care needs of our community. They’re the safety net and serve as the front-line defense against the spread of diseases, such as the H1N1 virus.”
“Our elected county officials should not forget the most vulnerable among us and take the steps necessary to avoid balancing the county budget on their backs,” Pelton added.
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for nursing in the Empire State. With more than 37,000 members, it is the state's largest union and professional association for registered nurses. It supports nurses and nursing practice through education, research, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining.