Today, the State Executive Council of New Jersey’s largest health care union, the Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE), endorsed Senator Barbara Buono for Governor. The announcement is one of the earliest endorsements in the race and signifies the growing momentum behind Senator Buono’s campaign.
The announcement came at their meeting attended by more than three dozen representatives from HPAE locals at hospitals, nursing homes, home care facilities, blood banks and universities.
“Every day, nurses and health professionals are by the side of our patients – and speaking up to protect access to quality care for our communities,” said Ann Twomey, president of the 12,000 member health care union. “We need the leadership of elected officials like Senator Barbara Buono to make sure that patients come first –and that we also protect the mission of our community hospitals in the midst of major changes in the healthcare industry.”
Among the reasons for the endorsement, according to HPAE, were Senator Buono’s strong commitment to health care access for NJ residents; her support for the workplace rights of healthcare workers; her leadership in fighting for women’s healthcare; and her support for funding NJ’s hospitals and healthcare mission.
“I am honored to receive this endorsement from the hardworking members of the Health Professionals and Allied Employees union. The HPAE takes care of us when we are at our most vulnerable and that is why we need to take care of them. As governor, I will work with the HPAE to ensure that our healthcare system is safe for our workers while providing quality care,” said Senator Buono in accepting the endorsement.”
Other HPAE leaders commented on their support for Senator Buono:
Elmer Daniels, RN, University Hospital, president HPAE Local 5089: I support Buono for Governor, because she is very well informed on health care issues specifically about the opportunities and challenges posed by the Affordable Care Act, and the chance we have to expand access to care through the ‘exchanges’.
Claudia Storick, RN, Virtua Memorial, HPAE/ COPE: “ I have watched Senator Buono through the years and am very impressed with her passion and dedication to health care, and HPAE has an opportunity to speak up for her, as she does for us and our patients.”
Shelly Crowe, RN, Christ Hospital, and HPAE Local 5186/COPE: “Senator Barbara Buono was on point on all of the issues that are important to HPAE's - members most importantly the need for transparency & accountability in health care.”