Our policy work

The expertise and experience of health care professionals is needed in policymaking and legislation like never before.

Health care professionals have an innate and values-based understanding of health care principles and practice that must be shared throughout the spectrum of the political and legislative process. Nurses in particular have a unique and honorable role to play in improving the health care of all because of the trust that the public places in them: Nurses Top Honesty and Ethics List.

Legislative and policy issues

Members Deb Newsom, Sheryll Chabot, Marilyn Rivero (past Rep.-Milton), and JoAnn Mogielnicki discuss healthcare issues with Senator Baruth.

Through our members, Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals has been instrumental in the passage of legislation and policy important to health workers as well as all Vermonters, such as the Act 48: An act pertaining to a universal and unified health system, and the issuance of a landmark bulletin requiring insurance companies to stop gender identity discrimination. In 2014, we will continue to work with a broad coalition to ensure passage of Paid Sick Leave.

Working with elected leaders and our allies in labor, patient care, community health, and social justice, we accomplish much.

Brad Peduzzi Testifies on Paid Sick Leave at the Vermont Statehouse

“Nurses maintain values that promote individualized patient care and collaboration among health care professionals. It is important that nurses are represented in the formation of health care policy and that these values, as well as nursing knowledge and expertise, are shared with politicians and reflected in quality health care legislation that is cost-effective.

Nursing’s active involvement in the molding of public policy through political commitment is a necessity; it is not enough to wait and see where legislation takes the profession and how changes in public policy will affect patients. If nurses do not become involved and employ a values-laden approach to politics, they have no power over their own future, and health care will suffer from their lack of participation.”

Des Jardin, K. E. (2001a).

Political involvement in nursing – education and empowerment. AORN Journal, October. Part 1 of 2.

Healthcare reform

Grassroots Efforts

We have been active and instrumental in the tremendous grassroots efforts that brought Act 48 to Vermont: Act 48: An act pertaining to a universal and unified health system. We continue to work closely with other unions and organizations such as Vermont Workers’ Center, Vermont Nurse Practitioners’ Association, Vermont State Employees Union, Migrant Justice, RU12?, Outright Vermont, Vermont Cares to ensure everyone has access to quality health care.

Green Mountain Care Board Advisory Council

Two of our members were appointed to the Green Mountain Care Board Advisory Council, Deb Kutzko and Mari Cordes. The Green Mountain Care Board Advisory Council, as required by Act 48, advises the Green Mountain Care Board on policy issues benefit design, payment reform, quality, public engagement and more.

For more information about state and federal health care reform:

Blue Ribbon Commission on Future of Nursing

Following the Robert Woods Johnson-IOM report on the The Future of Nursing, in 2011 Governor Shumlin appointed a Blue Ribbon Commission on the Future of Nursing to make recommendations regarding Vermont’s nursing workforce with the belief that nurses are full partners in health care reform. Deborah Wachtel and Mari Cordes from VFNHP were appointed to the 30 member commission. The commission submitted its recommendations in their final report in September of 2012. Though the commission has ended, the work continues through Vermont’s own Action Coalition.

Here is the Final Report of the Vermont Blue Ribbon Commission on the Future of Nursing.

Vermont Blue Ribbon Commission on the Future of Nursing



We are a strong union of health care professionals organized to ensure access to high-quality health care for everyone in the communities we serve.

Call: (802) 657-4040

Fax: 802.871.5946

Email: info@vfnhp.org

Address: 96 Colchester Ave, Burlington VT 05401