Public Employees Federation Is “Actively Looking Into” Case Of Union-Represented Nurse At Long Island Hospital Who Was Disciplined After Speaking Out Publicly Regarding The Shortage Of Personal Protection Equipment
(ALBANY, NEW YORK) - A Critical Care Nurse at New York State's Stony Brook University Hospital on Long Island was handed a notice of discipline last week, a day after she and another Hospital Staffer were interviewed on national television by MSNBC about the shortage of protective equipment for Workers in hospitals and health care facilities.
The Nurse, Amy Lee Pacholk, and James Lewis, a Respiratory Therapist Stony Brook, were interviewed by Brian Williams during a Segment On MSNBC About The Shortage Of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at hospitals and other health care facilities.
"Our institution and the government ‘have not provided us with the appropriate equipment to properly protect ourselves to care for these patients,’" Pacholk told Williams. "The Health Care Professionals ‘are getting sick and we haven't even seen the height of this pandemic.’"
Pacholk was served with a notice of discipline by hospital managers late last week, indicating she was being targeted for discipline for her use of sick time earlier this year.
She could not immediately be reached for comment on Sunday.
When contacted about Pacholk's disciplinary action, Wayne Spence, the President of her Union - the Public Employees Federation (PEF), issued a statement: "We are concerned and actively looking into this issue of retaliation given SUNY Stony Brook's past history of going after whistleblowers."
There is a shortage of Health Care Workers, especially Nurses, as the Coronavirus Pandemic erupts.
Governor Andrew Cuomo last week said several times during press briefings that the state is hiring retired Nurses and speeding up the certification process for medical schools to authorize Health Care Professionals to join the workforce to help deal with the crisis.
Many Nurses, including State Health Nurses, have volunteered to work paid shifts on the front lines of the Coronavirus Outbreak, including testing people in Westchester County, one of the state's hardest hit areas.
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