Southern Nevada Health District

Southern Nevada Health District

SNHDThe Southern Nevada Health District is one of the largest local public health organizations in the United States. It serves nearly 2 million residents, and close to 50 million Las Vegas tourists each year.

SEIU Nevada Representation: 449 (as of May 2, 2014)

Notable Services:  Health cards and vital records (birth and death certificates); restaurant, child care, tattoo partlors and public swimming pool inspections, public health clinics and services, including childhood and adult immunizations, STD treatment and control, and HIV/AIDS case management.

 

SEIU Nevada Southern Nevada Health District Chapter Leadership

Mark Bergtholdt, Vice President – Supervisory Employees, nvquercus@cox.net

Cara Evangelista, Chief Steward – Non-Supervisory Employees, butterflyflier@live.com

Victoria Harding, Vice President – Non-Supervisory Employees, harding_victoria@hotmail.com

Jacquelyn Raiche-Curl, Chief Steward – Supervisory Employees, jrcurl@msn.com

 

LATEST NEWS

SEIU Nevada Seeks Nominations for Special Election to Fill 3 Chief Steward Posts

SEIU Nevada will hold a special election in early 2015 for three leadership positions:Special Election Button

  • Chief Steward; Southern Nevada Health District – Non-Supervisory
  • Chief Steward; Clark County, General Unit – Non-Supervisory
  • Chief Steward; University Medical Center – Nursing

Nominations must be received by 5 PM Monday, Dec. 22, 2014.

Nominees must be SEIU 1107 members in continuous good standing for a minimum of two (2) years immediately preceding the election.

Please check back soon for more information.

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UMC RN and SEIU Nevada Trustee Mike Collins Talks Ebola Preparedness on “Ralston Reports”

University Medical Center veteran registered nurse, SEIU Nevada trustee and Southern Nevada Board of Health At-Large Member Michael Collins appeared on the local political show, “Ralston Reports” Wednesday night to talk about Las Vegas Valley hospitals’ emergency preparedness in the face of the Ebola threat.

“Nurses are far better prepared than they were two weeks ago before the infection of the nurses in Dallas, Texas,” Mike told host Jon Ralston. “I’m encouraged by this, but as a registered nurse and an official with SEIU Local 1107, we really want to push the institutions to do additional training to ensure that our nurses are able to provide quality care in a safe healthcare environment for them, their co-workers and the community.”

Mike’s appearance begins at 16:59 in the show:

A day earlier, Mark Catlin, SEIU’ Health and Safety director, reminded NPR’s “Here and Now” public affairs of an important fact is not always front-and-center in the conversation about Ebola in the United States. He reminded listeners that it’s the employers’—hospitals’ and airports’—responsibility to ensure that workers are properly trained and have the protective equipment they need to deal with the virus and any other contagious disease.

“What’s really been missing [from the discussion] is the fact that it’s employers in this country under our U.S. law — under the Occupational Safety and Health Act — that have the primary responsibility to maintain a healthy and safe workplace,” Catlin said. “So it’s the employers’ responsibility to … incorporate [CDC and OSHA guidelines] into site-specific plans for how workers are going to be protected.”

Also in Tuesday, SEIU 1199, our New York local, co-hosted a three-hour seminar for thousands of janitors, security guards, doctors, nurses and other workers at Manhattan’s Javits Center, to share how they can best care for patients and serve clients and travelers, while also keeping their co-workers and themselves safe. News coverage of that gathering includes:

SEIU Nevada plans to host an upcoming training. Stay tuned for details.

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Battle Against Ebola: More Than Websites and Print-Outs Needed for U.S. Healthcare Workers

Roughly half of SEIU Nevada’s members work in healthcare, most for the 11 hospitals across the state that we represent. Below is advice offered to these and other frontline workers by Mark Catlin, SEIU’s Occupational Health and Safety Director.

Healthcare Employers Must Develop and Implement Specific Occupational Health and Safety Policies and Procedures to Protect Workers

Ebola-CDC-Sign

The first case of Ebola transmission to a healthcare worker in the United States was to a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas who had cared for the Liberian man who died from Ebola.  The hospital has claimed that all CDC guidance had been followed. Public health officials originally suggested that a breach in protocol must have occurred, although this has since been retracted. This statement has led many to the conclusion that the nurse made a mistake which led to her infection. The response to this has been a call for more training to help healthcare workers protect themselves.

More and better training is crucial, as are drills to practice the strict infection control procedures recommended by CDC and needed to protect healthcare workers when caring for suspected or known patients with Ebola. However, training is only one part of the picture. Hospital management must develop site specific comprehensive programs that integrate the CDC Ebola guidance, at a minimum. Simply referring workers to the CDC website, passing out a print out of the CDC guidelines or showing a short slide presentation is not what is needed. Without a comprehensive infection control program with occupational health and safety built in, just training healthcare workers won’t be enough.

Hospital management should review infection control policies and procedures and incorporate plans for administrative, environmental, and communication measures, as well as EbolaPatientBeingTransportedpersonal protective equipment (PPE) and training and education. Hospitals should also define the individual work practices that will be required to detect the introduction of a patient with Ebola or other emerging infectious diseases, prevent the spread of Ebola, and manage the impact on patients, the hospital, and staff. Everyone inside a hospital, from the CEO to the management team to frontline workers, has a responsibility in meeting the following guidelines:

  1. To begin discussions with a healthcare employer about preparedness for Ebola, request their infection control and occupational health plan for Ebola, which should incorporate the current CDC guidance: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/infection-prevention-and-control-recommendations.html.
  2. Review the facility plan by comparing it to the Hospital Checklist for Ebola Preparedness that has been developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/pdf/hospital-checklist-ebola-preparedness.pdf.
  3. In addition to the checklist, review the facility policy to insure that the following are addressed. Facilities that have not addressed these and other issues (from the checklist) need to improve their plans for Ebola:
  • Strict compliance with OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP) standard is crucial, including the use of safer needles and sharps, as required in the BBP.  SEIU fought for and won the BBP standard in 1991 and the safer needle requirement in the federal Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act signed into law in November, 2000. The OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens standard explicitly requires the use of safety-engineered sharp devices and the active involvement of front-line workers in the evaluation and selection of these safer technologies. A 10-minute 2001 SEIU video, The Fight for Our Lives: How We Won Safer Needles, highlights our history with these victories and can be viewed at http://youtu.be/g51WkB9zpEk.
  • The CDC guidance for Healthcare calls for standard, contact, and droplet precautions for management of hospitalized patients with known or suspected Ebola virus disease. As a part of the guidance, the CDC recommends the use of respiratory protection (at least an N95) during all aerosol-generating procedures performed on a suspect/known patient.
  • Facilities must have a clear policy on pay and benefit protection for all workers placed on precautionary removal from their normal work because of possible Ebola exposure. Language requiring this is part of the California OSHA Aerosol Disease (ATD) Standard, which specifically covers Ebola. SEIU and the Nurse Alliance of California fought for and won the ATD standard in 2009, a unique occupational health standard protecting healthcare workers in California. Outside California, this or similar language should be in a facility’s plan:

“Where the Physician or other licensed health care professional (PLHCP) recommends precautionary removal, or where the local health officer recommends precautionary removal, the employer shall maintain until the employee is determined to be noninfectious, the employee’s earnings, seniority, and all other employee rights and benefits, including the employee’s right to his or her former job status, as if the employee had not been removed from his or her job or otherwise medically limited.”

Local unions and our members should be included in the development, periodic review and implementation of the plans. Our members’ involvement and experience are key to a plan that is effective in providing care for these patients while protecting the health and safety of our members.

This is a beginning. As information and guidance changes, we’ll provide updates and additional information to assist local unions in understanding issues around addressing the Ebola outbreaks and ways to help our employers during this public health emergency.

Additional information you may find helpful:

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Southern Nevada Health District Overwhelmingly Ratifies 5-Year Contract

ContractRatificationCheckWith 84% of voting members casting their ballot “yes,” SEIU Nevada members working for the Southern Nevada Health District tonight ratified a new 2014-19 contract.

Highlights include:

  • Restored longevity pay
  • Fully employer-funded health insurance for employees (with no cap on premium costs)
  • One-time, 1.5% base salary payment, continuing step increases, and economic re-openers in Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019
  • Expanded FMLA leave
  • Significantly streamlined contract language, including an additional step in the disciplinary process

Congratulations to the Bargaining Team and all Health District members.

The contract now goes before Board of Health Aug. 28 for final approval.

Please CLICK HERE for a flier about this vote.

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Health District Contract Ratification Vote Set for Tuesday-Wednesday, Aug. 19-20

SNHDFollowing up on last week’s informational meetings, our Southern Nevada Health District members will vote Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 19-20 on their Tentative 2014-19 Collective Bargaining Agreement with management.

Please CLICK HERE to access a PDF of the articles of this agreement.

Please CLICK HERE to access a flier about polling dates, times and locations.

The bargaining team – Jennifer Bowers, Rosemary Ensign, Cara Evangelista, Victoria Harding, Lorraine Oliver, Jacquelyn Raiche-Curl,  Amanda Reichert and Janet Webster – unanimously RECOMMENDS RATIFICATION of the contract.

GENERAL MEETING & VOTING: Tuesday Aug. 19

4:30-7 PM: Main Office (330 S. Valley View Blvd., LV)

VOTING CONTINUES, Wednesday, Aug. 20

8 AM-4:30 PM: Main Office AND 400 (Shadow Professional Center, 400 Shadow Ln, LV)

8 AM-Noon: Henderson Clinic (520 E. Lake Mead Pkwy, Henderson)

1-4:30 PM: East Clinic (Sunrise Marketplace, 560 N. Nellis Blvd., LV)

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