Because We Care: Remarks from Lt. Gov. Candidate John Gunyou at Patient Care Vigil

Because We Care

John Gunyou
Remarks at Vigil for Patient Safety
St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, St. Paul
June 9, 2010

Thank you for the opportunity to be here tonight. I want you to know that Margaret and I are very proud to stand with you for patient safety and well being.

My sister is an RN, and has been a pediatrics nurse for more than 35 years. I told her about tonight, and asked what she had learned about nursing over her long career. Here’s what she told me.

While there’s always a need for advanced medical treatment & technology, what patients most need is intelligent, high-quality, nursing care. Nurses understand that nursing care is what makes the most difference in their patients’ lives.

She also told me that everyday for the past 35 years, she has tried to live those values by insisting on more time for her patients, making it her business to know exactly what they need, and letting them know that she truly cares about them.

Then she reminded me, “This is why most of us went into nursing – because we care.”

Because we care.

I’d like to share with you a story that few people know, but I think it helps explain why I feel so passionately about your stand for patient care.

I have five children now, but lost my first at her birth. With my wife in the ICU, I don’t think I’ve ever felt so alone. The person who sat with me that long, lonely night wasn’t a doctor, wasn’t a technician, wasn’t a hospital administrator.

It was a nurse. It was a nurse who took the time, who had the time to help a young man say goodbye to his first born child. I don’t remember her name, but I will never forget her.

Because we care.

I think it’s time we acknowledge the critical role that nurses play in their patients lives. And, that we allow them the time to properly care for their patients.

I also think it’s time we had a governor who cares about us again. A governor who cares about the dedicated working people who make such a difference in our lives.

Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to stand with you tonight. Please know that my heart is with you every step of the way.

John Gunyou is running for Lt. Governor with Margaret Anderson Kelliher, the endorsed candidate for Governor of the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA).