Nurses At Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare Rallied And Donned Stickers Reading “RNs: Staff Us, Retain Us,”


As registered nurses (RNs) at Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) rallied and donned stickers reading “RNs: Staff Us, Retain Us,” a delegation of 30 RNs accompanied by Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) Provincial President Erin Ariss, RN, met with top executives at Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare to demand workplace changes.

The delegation of 30 RNs from both sites of MAHC (Bracebridge and Huntsville) presented a letter signed by 88 per cent of the RNs to hospital President and CEO Cheryl Harrison, Director, Nursing, Clinical Services & Chief Nursing Executive Melissa Bilodeau and Vice President, Integrated Care, Patient Services and Quality Diane George.

“As nurses, we are patient advocates first,” says ONA Provincial President Erin Ariss, RN. “We know that patients rely on their health care, and we have clearly spelled out to the executives what this organization needs to do immediately to fix staffing and nurse retention issues at MAHC that threaten patient care.”

Nearly 200 RNs at MAHC agree that management must take six steps to immediately address staffing and retention issues; these include working with local ONA leaders and front-line nurses to develop safe, quality and ethical nurse-to-patient ratios appropriate for the number of beds at MAHC and the increasing patient acuity by this summer.

The nurses have joined the community in being outspoken about opposition to the plan unveiled earlier this year by hospital leaders that would decrease access to local care. The hospital has been facing public scrutiny and criticism for its plans that would impact the access to critically needed health-care services locally.

“Our nurses stand in solidarity with this community,” says Ariss. “We will not give up in our efforts to not only preserve, but improve, patients’ access to high-quality care in their community.”

ONA is the union representing more than 68,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals, as well as 18,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.


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