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April 2, 2020

Nina Jenkins, SEIU 775

Amy Clark, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW

Tom Geiger, UFCW 21

Ruth Schubert, WSNA

Sen. Patty Murray, frontline healthcare workers to share urgent demand for PPE,
call on administration to protect all healthcare workers
Members of SEIU 775, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, UFCW 21 and WSNA to share experiences from the bedside during COVID-19 crisis

WHO: Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and healthcare workers from SEIU 775, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, UFCW 21 and WSNA who are on the front lines providing direct care during the COVID-19 crisis.

WHAT: Press teleconference to illustrate need for personal protective equipment (PPE) and call on Trump administration to invest in the health and safety of all healthcare workers.

WHEN: Friday, April 3, 2020, 10 am PDT

WHERE: Teleconference.

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) will join frontline union healthcare workers to share how a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) is endangering their ability to keep themselves, their patients and larger communities safe and how they are demanding the Trump administration to immediately invest in the health and safety of every worker, including taking the following actions to increase the supply of PPE:

  • Immediate distribution of the masks and equipment held in the Strategic National Stockpile.
  • Identifying reserves of masks and equipment in other industries, such as construction, and redistributing them to healthcare providers.
  • Using all powers of the federal government to speed immediate production of new equipment and ensure it is routed to states for distribution across acute care, home care and long term care settings.
  • Ensuring that all frontline healthcare workers across all settings and emergency response workers can be tested easily to slow the spread of the virus.

Participating union members:

  • Desirae Hernandez is a caregiver in the Tri-Cities. She cares for three different clients which means she travels between four homes on a regular basis. She is a SEIU 775 executive board member.
  • Katy Brehe is a registered nurse at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Wash., where she has provided care to COVID-19 patients and is working alongside her coworkers in SEIU Healthcare 1199NW to obtain necessary PPE and other protections during the crisis.
  • Katherine Piana is a registered nurse at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, WA where she works as part of the ER Team and has cared for COVID 19 patients and has been working with others to increase the number and quality of PPE for everyone at her hospital. She is a member of UFCW 21.
  • Adam Halvorsen is a registered nurse at Kadlec Regional Medical Center and a member of the WSNA Board of Directors. He served as a marine in Operation Iraqi Freedom and is a former EMT and a former firefighter. In his many roles, he has never been sent in without the proper protection.
  • Brittany Williams is an in-home caregiver living in Seattle. She is an executive board member of SEIU 775 and will be acting as MC for the call.
  • Healthcare workers are at the front lines of fighting the novel coronavirus in the Seattle area’s hospitals, nursing homes, care facilities and client homes, the first epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. Providing direct, hands-on care, dedicated caregivers face an increased risk of contracting or spreading illnesses. Every day, nursing home, hospital and clinic workers put their lives on the line, and union members are calling on the Trump administration, corporations and industry employers to enact immediate, commonsense solutions to increase the supply of PPE.


About SEIU 775
SEIU 775 represents more than 45,000 long-term care workers providing quality home care, nursing home care, and residential services in Washington and Montana. SEIU 775’s mission is to unite the strength of all working people and their families, to improve their lives and lead the way to a more just and humane world.

About SEIU Healthcare 1199NW
SEIU Healthcare 1199NW is a union of nurses and healthcare workers with over 30,000 caregivers throughout hospitals, clinics, mental health, skilled home health and hospice programs in Washington state and Montana. SEIU Healthcare 1199NW’s mission is to advocate for quality care and good jobs for all.

About WSNA
WSNA is the leading voice and advocate for nurses in Washington state, providing representation, education and resources that allow nurses to reach their full professional potential and focus on caring for patients. WSNA represents more than 19,000 registered nurses for collective bargaining who provide care in hospitals, clinics, schools and community and public health settings across the state.

About UFCW 21
UFCW 21 is working to build a powerful union that fights for economic, political and social justice in our workplaces and our communities. We represent over 45,000 workers in retail, grocery stores, health care, and other industries in Washington state. 18,000 of these members work in healthcare.

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