Posts Tagged ‘health care’

‘M’ is for the many things moms endure

Austin American-Statesman, May 12, 2013

On Mother’s Day, I think of the moms of the sick and premature babies I cared for in the neonatal ICU for more than 30 years. They all shared these characteristics: • They and their spouses/partners were sleep-deprived — dead-dog exhausted. • They were scared. • Neonatal intensive care was the last place on Earth […]

Read more...

Regulatory boards need to keep their independence

Austin American-Statesman, March 2, 2011

Facing a $27 billion budget shortfall, Gov. Rick Perry has revived a failed and tired idea from past legislative sessions. To save a paltry $7 million, he proposes to combine under one umbrella some of the most essential agencies in state government — the boards regulating doctors, nurses, dentists, chiropractors, podiatrists, optometrists, pharmacists, psychologists and […]

Read more...

Controlling health care costs needs to happen from within

Austin American-Statesman, July 2, 2010

The White House nomination of Dr. Donald Berwick to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services seems to be imploding. If it does, it would be a missed opportunity for our country. Conspicuously absent from the health care overhaul were meaningful measures to control costs. There’s a reason for that: Government cannot legislate that […]

Read more...

This is What Leadership Looks Like

Austin American-Statesman, March 30, 2010

‘This is what change looks like.” Reflecting on 13 months of rancor and preparing us for the months ahead making sense of it all, that’s what President Barack Obama told the nation from the White House East Room after the cliffhanger vote by the U.S. House passing the health care overhaul. Undoubtedly overlooked by most, […]

Read more...

One Step Forward, One Step Back: Physician supervision requirements are troublesome for CRNAs.

American Journal of Nursing [Vol. 103, No. 1, pp. 91-4], January 1, 2003

“It’s a wash,” says Sally Bass Witkowski, CRNA, BSR, when asked about the recent flip-flop Medicare rulings on physician supervision of certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) in hospitals…. “A lot of time, energy, and money were spent by people on both sides of the argument, and for what? Nobody’s job changed.” On January 18, 2001, as […]

Read more...

“I Promised Myself That It Would Happen” What happens when a will the size of Texas faces off with the great state itself.

American Journal of Nursing [Vol. 102, No. 10, pp. 106-7], October 1, 2002

It would be difficult to say where Sister Angela Murdaugh, MSN, RN, CNM, FACNM, has made a more profound difference: advancing the profession of nurse midwives through years of advocacy or improving the health and well-being of thousands of the nation’s poorest women and their children who have benefited from the Holy Family Birth Center […]

Read more...

National drug shortages: Patient safety takes a backseat to profit

American Journal of Nursing [Vol. 102, No. 7, p. 11], July 1, 2002

Government intervention into the sacrosanct free market is considered anathema, but the frequency of nationwide hospital drug shortages is threatening patient care. It’s time for the federal government to intervene. A few years ago a hospital might experience a shortage of one or two critical drugs per year. This past year the number has been […]

Read more...

5 Minutes with Nancy McDonald: On serving in the Texas legislature

NurseWeek, March 18, 2002

How did you become involved in politics?

Part of our professional code of ethics tells us that we’ll strive to “improve standards of nursing practice and promote … efforts to meet health needs of the public.” I’ve always taken that aspect of the code very seriously.

During the 12 years that I was a hospital staff and head nurse, I was also involved in local politics. During that time, an influx of foreign nurses pointed to the need for a clearer definition of nursing responsibilities in the Nursing Practice Act. After joining the Governmental Affairs Committee of the Texas Nurses Association, we set to work to rewrite parts of the act and then to lobby the Legislature for its passage.

Read more...

Nancy McDonald: Icon of Texas Nursing

Texas Nursing [Vol. 84, No. 10, pp. 3-7], December 1, 2001

[This article was also published in the March 18, 2002 NurseWeek, p. 10-11.] About a year ago, I worked in the same NICU bay at Seton Medical Center in Austin with a nurse new to our staff, Elizabeth McDonald. She’s quite distinctive — tall with very long hair, poised, cool, funny and ardently self-assured. She […]

Read more...

Seton-Brackenridge solution can work

Austin American-Statesman, August 31, 2001

It’s infuriating that a group of aging, celibate men in Rome could threaten women’s reproductive services at a public hospital in Austin. But public debate on this issue should focus on a community solution, not on whether the Catholic-sponsored Seton Healthcare Network should continue to manage our public Brackenridge Hospital. In June, Seton advised the […]

Read more...