Note: the content below is the opinion of the creator or signed authors.
By Concerned Employees of Hennepin Healthcare
We’re inviting you to sign a petition drafted by Concerned Employees of Hennepin Healthcare, and endorsed by HHS unions including MNA, AFSCME 2474, and AFSCME 977.
Concerned Employees is a multiracial and multidisciplinary group of Hennepin Healthcare workers who came together after George Floyd’s murder. As demonstrations spread, Concerned Employees asked: What can we do as workers to address systemic racism in our corner of the world, at Hennepin Healthcare?
Given known disparities in usage of medical force in a wide range of settings across the country, we decided to start there. Medical force involves physical restraint, seclusion, and the coercive use of powerful sedatives.
After researching the issue, we came up with a few simple demands. First, when HCMC trains the Minneapolis Police Department, which they have done in the past on Excited Delirium, we want that training to utilize a trauma-informed care, antiracist, anti-ableist framework – we want them to train the police just like they’d train us. Second, we want transparent data with demographic information on how medical force is used across the healthcare system. Third, we want a public review of that data with the aim of safely preventing and reducing the use of medical force such as restraint and seclusion.
This is a worker issue. Hennepin Healthcare staff are under immense pressure due to lack of resources and training, short staffing, and the complexity of situations we face on a daily basis. This does not put us in positions to provide the care that people deserve. Workplace violence is a major concern, with as many as 742 separate incidents of violence annually in recent years, exacerbated by the lack of systemic support. Moreover, Hennepin Healthcare administrators are aware that the number of incidents of workplace violence is vastly under-reported. Many veteran staff in areas such as the EMS, Emergency Department, and Inpatient Psychiatry have been assaulted repeatedly over their years of service.
Often the most dangerous moment for staff and patients alike is at the point of coercion. Whenever possible, staff overwhelmingly prefer resourcing for preventive measures rather than application of medical force.
You can be part of a preventative solution.
We have a lot of racial justice work to do in this country. This petition gives us an opportunity to be part of the solution, bringing the demonstrations we witnessed and participated in last summer into our workplaces and institutions where we can affect change.
Every signature counts.
We won’t get there without you.
If you have any questions regarding the petition or Concerned Employees, freely contact us. We’d love to talk, dialogue.