TORONTO, May 7, 2004 – For the fourth consecutive year, the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) welcomes political leaders to workplaces across the province as they participate in Take your MPP to Work. The event offers the opportunity to see and hear first-hand from the nurses who care for people in long-term care facilities, their homes, community health centres, clinics, hospitals, and public health units across the province.
Accepting RNAO’s invitation to participate in this year’s event is: Minister of Health and Long-Term Care George Smitherman; PC Deputy Leader and Health Critic, Elizabeth Witmer; and NDP Leader Howard Hampton. MPPs from across the province will also shadow RNs in their own ridings. Highlights include Etobicoke, Peterborough, Huron-Bruce, Essex, Mississauga, Kingston, Ancaster/Dundas/ Flamborough/Aldershot, Thunder Bay, Stormont/Dundas/ Charlottenburgh, and Pickering/Ajax/Uxbridge.
“These tours are a window on the working world of nursing, an excellent opportunity for politicians – and the public – to see and better understand just what it is registered nurses do,” said RNAO president Joan Lesmond. “We want people to understand the wide range of responsibilities for which RNs are accountable, and to recognize the important, often sensitive interactions nurses have with people in need of care.”
The schedule for Take your MPP to Work is as follows:
Monday, May 10, 11:00 a.m., Minister of Health and Long-Term Care George Smitherman joins RNAO executive director Doris Grinspun for a tour of Toronto’s Shout Clinic, and an introduction to the programs and services available to clients.
Monday, May 10, 3:00 p.m., PC Deputy Leader and Critic, Health and Long-Term Care Elizabeth Witmer joins RNAO executive director Doris Grinspun for a tour of various units within Toronto’s Mt. Sinai Hospital.
Friday, May 14, 10:30 a.m., NDP Leader Howard Hampton joins RNAO president Joan Lesmond and RNAO Kenora chapter president Kathy Dawe for workplace visits to Northwestern Health Unit and Birchwood Terrace Nursing Home in Kenora.
In addition to these events, individual RNAO members from across the province have invited MPPs to see the diverse reach of nurses’ work in their home ridings. The schedule for these events is as follows:
Wednesday, May 12, 9:30 a.m., Laurel Broten, Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier, and Liberal MPP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore, will join a meeting of child and family nurses as well as participate in a home visit with St. Elizabeth Health Care.
Wednesday, May 12, 10:00 a.m., Jeff Leal, Vice-Chair, Standing Committee on Justice and Social Policy and Liberal MPP for Peterborough, will visit Peterborough Regional Health Centre’s (PRHC) operating room and emergency department, after which he will present recognition awards to two PRHC nurses.
Friday, May 14, 7:30 a.m., Carol Mitchell, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture and Food, and Liberal MPP for Huron-Bruce, will join visiting nurse, Alice Carter from Saint Elizabeth Health Care for a home visit near Clinton, Ontario.
Friday, May 14, 8:00 a.m., Bruce Crozier, Deputy Speaker and Liberal MPP for Essex, will tour Windsor Regional Hospital with Kim Stockinger, nurse practitioner for the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program.
Friday, May 14, 9:00 a.m., Peter Fonseca, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and Liberal MPP for Mississauga East, will join RNs Claudine Bennett and Sandeep Gill of Peel Health in Brampton to hear first-hand about public health nurses’ unique contribution to health care. He will be taken on a site tour, and will participate in a round table presentation with nurses.
Friday, May 14, 9:00 a.m., John Gerretson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Liberal MPP for Kingston and the Islands, will visit Hotel Dieu Hospital in Kingston, touring the ambulatory clinics with Marg Atkinson, policy and political action officer, RNAO Kingston chapter.
Friday, May 14, 9:00 a.m., Ted McKeekin, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister Responsible for Seniors and Liberal MPP for Ancaster/Dundas/ Flamborough/Aldershot, will join clinical operational resource nurse, Lori Strickland, for a tour of the West Mountain Wound Clinic at St. Joseph’s Hospital.
Friday, May 14, 9:30 a.m., Mike Gravelle, Liberal MPP for Thunder Bay and Member, Standing Committee on Government Agencies, will join Saint Elizabeth Health Care nurses, Janet Wheeler, a visiting RN, and Cori Dmitriew, a clinical resource nurse, to discuss community health care and participate in a home visit.
Friday, May 14, 12:00 p.m., Jim Brownell, Chair, Standing Committee on Justice and Social Policy and Liberal MPP for Stormont/Dundas/Charlottenburgh, will join RNAO Seaway chapter past president Ruth Pollock, RNAO member Elaine Marchand, and the nurses at Bayshore Health Care to have lunch and discuss home nursing services. He will also tour the McConnell site of the Cornwall Community Hospital.
Friday, May 19, 2:30 p.m., Wayne Arthurs, Liberal MPP for Pickering/Ajax/Uxbridge and Parliamentary Assistant to the Chair of Management Board of Cabinet, will receive a guided tour of Ajax Youth Centre from the facility’s executive director Susan Bland and nurse practitioner, Laurie Clune.
The Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses wherever they practise in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has lobbied for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.