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RNs Rally to Protest Rick Scott in Orlando Saturday

Press Release Press Release, 10/21/10

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For Immediate Release
October 21, 2010

Warn His Policies Would Harm Florida Patients

Registered nurses, joined by community and labor allies, will rally in Orlando Saturday to oppose the candidacy of gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott, citing his history and policies as contrary to the values of nurses and the interests of patients.

The rally will be held outside the offices of the Florida Hospital Association, a major supporter of Scott and a reminder of Scott’s own sordid past as the chief executive who led his hospital company into a record $1.7 billion in fines for Medicare and Medicaid fraud.

What:  Rally to protest Rick Scott
When:  Saturday, October 23
Time:  12 noon to 1 p.m.
Where:  307 Park Lane, Orlando

Nurses say Scott is a symbol of Wall Street excess, greed, and at best questionable financial practices, and would set a poor standard for public trust and accountability as governor. Additionally, they say, Scott’s record as a hospital CEO was one of disrespect for patients, nurses and other caregivers, and practices that undermined the quality of care and limited access to care delivery.

“As a non-partisan voter and a registered nurse, I have to ask why would we want someone in the Governor’s office with his track record of policies so harmful to the old and sick?” said Tampa RN Gwen Collins. “ As a big hospital CEO he’s already proven what he’ll do in business. He’s not out for the welfare of employees, nurses, or patients. He’s out for profit.” 

Retired pediatric RN Emily Wilkie remembers when the fraud charges were brought against Scott’s company where she worked.  “Our CEO held a meeting and told us that there would be cuts. On my floor, which was pediatrics on one end of the unit and adult HIV/AIDS on the other, I was told that our ratios were doubling from five patients per RN to 10 patients per RN. Within a couple of weeks many of the RNs, including the manager, quit.”

“I have never understood how Rick Scott was able to walk away with a golden parachute worth $310 million, leaving patients at risk and RNs to clean up his mess. He should be in prison. He should not be running for Governor,” Wilkie said.

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