Ontario Nurses' President Takes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, where 58 RN positions have been cut

Linda Haslam-Stroud challenges St. Joe's CEO

HAMILTON, ON, Sept. 2, 2014 /CNW/ - Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN, President of the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) took the ALS ice bucket challenge today in front of the Charlton campus of St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton to protest registered nursing cuts.

St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton has recently issued notice of the deletion of 58 RN positions, 52 of which were full-time. The cuts are the equivalent of a loss of 110,000 hours of RN care per year.

Haslam-Stroud, RN, herself an RN with St. Joseph's Healthcare, says that the cutting of 58 RN positions because of a budget deficit will hurt patients the most.

"It's no secret that cutting registered nurses results in a seven-per-cent increase in patient complications and even death," she said. "Yet once again, patients will be put at risk as the hospital's budget is being balanced on the backs of registered nurses to the detriment of safe, quality patient care."

The nursing cuts impact patient care in the rehabilitation, operating room, endoscopy, acute medical, surgical units, outpatient clinics, maternity, peritoneal dialysis, seniors' mental health and psychiatry units.

"St. Joseph's is just the latest in a long line of RN cuts that has seen 1,600 RN positions lost from our hospitals," says Haslam-Stroud. "Patients deserve better. Ontarians have lost millions of hours of RN care from their hospitals in the past two years because of flat-lined hospital funding."

Haslam-Stroud took the challenge this morning (see video on ONA's YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/OntarioNurses) and has also made a personal donation to the ALS Society of Canada. She is challenging St. Joseph's Health System Chief Executive Officer Dr. Kevin Smith, St. Joseph's Healthcare Chief Nursing Executive Winnie Doyle, and the hospital's ONA Bargaining Unit President, Donna Bain, RN to do so.

ONA is the union representing 60,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals, as well as more than 14,000 nursing student affiliates providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.       

Visit us at: www.ona.org; Facebook.com/OntarioNurses; Twitter.com/OntarioNurses


Image with caption: "Registered nurses, members of the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA), hold signs calling for more RNs to be hired in this September 2 photo at the Charlton campus of St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton (Photo credit: Adele Churchill) (CNW Group/Ontario Nurses' Association)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140902_C1998_PHOTO_EN_5270.jpg

SOURCE: Ontario Nurses' Association

For further information: Ontario Nurses' Association, Sheree Bond, (416) 964-8833, ext. 2430; cell: (416) 986-8240; shereeb@ona.org; Melanie Levenson, (416) 964-8833, ext. 2369; melaniel@ona.org



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