Press Release

Rep. Stephen Stanley (D-Medway) to Present Bill to Protect Rural Maine Healthcare Thursday, Nov. 30

Rep. Stephen Stanley
Rep. Stephen Stanley
On Thursday, November 30, Representative Stanley will present LR 2713, “An Act to Protect Rural Maine Healthcare,” to the Legislative Council for consideration in the legislature’s upcoming Emergency Session. This will be the second time Rep. Stanley has presented this bill before the Council.

Members of the Maine State Nurses Association/National Nurses United (MSNA/NNU) strongly support this legislation and say that if the bill is not taken up in the 2018 session, it will have a very harmful impact on patients in rural Maine.

“We are extremely disappointed and worried for patients that are living in rural parts of this state. Without the accountability required by this bill, hospitals will continue to have free reign to slash needed services leaving patients hours away from vital care,“ said MSNA President, Cokie Giles, RN.

When:  Thursday, November 30, 2017, 10 a.m.
Where: Legislative Council Chamber, Maine Statehouse, Room 334

The bill requires that a healthcare facility considering the elimination of one or more major service line must 1) do an impact study (which must be made public) on the effect the proposed closure(s) will have on the affected community and 2) hold public hearings to get local input from on the decision to make the closure(s).

“The state of Maine needs this bill to protect other towns from going through what my town is going through right now,” said Maureen Hayward, RN, Chief Steward of the MSNA Chapter in Calais, Maine, where the local hospital recently closed its Obstetrics (OB) Department, leaving women within a forty-mile radius of Calais without local access to critical OB and pre-natal services.

“The Board of Directors of our Hospital told us they did not want any input from our community about their decision to close down this department that is essential to women’s health.”

The Maine State Nurses Association is affiliated with National Nurses United, the largest and fastest growing union of RNs in the nation. NNU has won landmark health and safety protections for nurses and patients in the areas of staffing, safe patient handling, infectious disease and workplace violence protection.