Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest, Ill., recently hosted a panel of elected officials to discuss current and potential issues affecting nursing and healthcare. The 2012 Advocate South Suburban Hospital Legislative Forum on Health and Nursing Issues enabled state Rep. William Davis, D-30th District; state Rep. Al Riley, D-38th District; and Hazel Crest Mayor Robert B. Donaldson to interact with more than 65 nurses and nursing leaders.
According to a news release, the forum educated nurses about the legislative process and provided a format for open dialogue between caregivers and elected officials. It was an opportunity for Advocate nurses to build relationships with legislators and to feel empowered to communicate with them about legislation. The forum also allowed legislators to see Advocate nurses as healthcare experts and the voices of nursing in Illinois.
“The decisions made by legislators have the potential to make a huge impact on our profession and healthcare in general,” forum moderator Sarah Pandolfi, RN, an Advocate South Suburban Hospital Pediatric Center nurse, said in the release. “It is important that we share our knowledge and expertise to help educate lawmakers about the issues important to nursing, the hospital and our patients.”
The legislators, who each got a seasonal flu vaccine shot after the event, shared information about issues such as healthcare reform and Medicaid issues that continue to shape healthcare. They encouraged the audience to participate in the legislative process by reaching out to their elected officials and becoming civically engaged.