The State Executive Council of New Jersey’s largest health care union, the Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE) representing thousands of Garden State nurses, has endorsed State Senator Barbara Buono (D-Metuchen) for Governor. The announcement comes a day after Gov. Chris Christie picked up the support of a major Orthodox Jewish community in Lakewood.
More than three dozen representatives from HPAE locals at hospitals, nursing homes, home care facilities, blood banks and universities gathered together Wednesday to voice their support for Buono.
“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.”
HPAE says it supports Buono because of her strong commitment to health care access for New Jersey residents and support for the workplace rights of healthcare workers. The union says her leadership in fighting for women’s healthcare and support for funding the state’s hospitals are what factored into their decision.
“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.”
Elmer Daniels, RN, University Hospital, president HPAE Local 5089 said, "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’."
The nurses called for transparency and accountability in health care and believe Buono understands their mission.
“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.” added Claudia Storick, RN, Virtua Memorial, HPAE/COPE