Friends and Allies
Working with our allies
In addition to the Vermont Workers’ Center, over the past years we have partnered with many wonderful people and organizations working to make Vermont better. Read up on some of the issues below.
UVM Medical Center
UVM Medical Center opts to sell outpatient dialysis clinics to for-profit Fresenius
In 2011, we worked with the Vermont Workers’ Center, dialysis patients and patient advocacy groups such as Disability Rights Vermont to ensure that the State of Vermont did not approve a Certificate of Need that would allow Fletcher Allen Health Care to sell its well run outpatient dialysis clinics to Fresenius, a multinational dialysis company with questionable and variable patient outcomes, a company that would fall outside the jurisdiction of the developing state health care system.
The State of Vermont
The State of Vermont denied the Certificate of Need based on arguments that included many that we provided in testimony. “We, including our hard working dialysis nurses and techs, have stated publicly from the beginning our concerns that a huge for-profit multinational corporation like Fresenius would not be able to provide our dialysis patients with the high quality of care that Vermonters receive now, and that making profit from the medical needs of human beings violates the spirit and principles of the Vermont Health Care Reform law, Act 48,” stated Mari Cordes, President of Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals.
The VSEA Union
The Aftermath of Irene and Impact on Vermont’s Psychiatric Patients: Working with VSEA Union members and many mental health advocates
When Tropical Storm Irene blew through Vermont, many people lost their homes – including those residing at the Vermont State Hospital. State employees and rescue workers acted heroically throughout the state, and at the state hospital, to bring people to safety. In the months that followed, the Shumlin administration plan to reduce the number of centralized, acute, inpatient psychiatric beds from 54 to 16 met strong resistance from many mental health advocates. Not only did Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals members rise to the occasion addressing a sudden increase in acuity with the influx of acute care psychiatric patients into the emergency department and the psychiatric units, they advocated for a strong and sensible state psychiatric health care system. Psychiatric and emergency department nurses, Vermont State Employees Union members (www.vsea.org), Fletcher Allen Health Care, Vermont Psychological Association, psychiatrists, social workers and mental health workers from around the state, have worked for months to help the Shumlin administration and state legislature understand the need for enough (at least 32) critical care mental health beds in a centralized facility. This work continues.
Equal Care Coalition (ECC)
The Equal Care Coalition consists of Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, RU12?, Outright Vermont, Vermont Cares, Vermont physicians, and Vermont Workers’ Center, with assistance from GLAAD and theTransgender Law Center. The group formed in 2012 when a VFNHP member brought attention to the fact that Fletcher Allen Health Care’s self insurance had language that specifically excluded health insurance coverage for medically necessary transgender care. The group worked quickly to address that situation through the Fletcher Allen/Vermont Managed Care appeals process and discussion with Fletcher Allen management and board members. The ECC also worked to have legislation drafted that would prevent insurers in the state of Vermont from using the same discriminatory practices, and with the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation (DFR) to have a clarifying bulletin issued. In April of 2013, the DFR did issue a strong bulletin clearly preventing discrimination based on gender identification.
Vermont State Leadership
Many thanks to the many others who have steadfastly stood by us over the years in the name of quality care for our community, including:
U.S. Congressional Delegation
- Senator Bernie Sanders
- Senator Patrick Leahy
- Rep. Peter Welch
- Governor Howard Dean
- Many Vermont Legislators
- Claire M. Lintilhac (helped VFNHP stop UVM Medical Center’s elimination of their 24-hour midwifery service)
- Rabbi Joshua Chasan
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