Inside Olympia: Nurse staffing companion receives hearing, WSHA to support bill to increase SANEs in rural areas

February 1, 2022

WSHA once more testified against the harmful nurse staffing legislation this week. We are pleased to report that we had hundreds of allies sign in against the legislation, in addition to a diverse array of testimony. Also this week, WSHA will lend its support to a bill that will increase the number of sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs) in rural communities.

Thank you again to everyone who joined us for Advocacy Week last week! We are pleased to report that 157 members joined us for 112 meetings with legislators over the course of the week, telling the hospital story and conveying to our elected leaders the importance of our health care system.

SB 5751: Improving worker safety and patient care in health care facilities by addressing staffing needs, overtime, meal and rest breaks, and enforcement

WSHA strongly opposes SB 5751, which is an omnibus bill that would impose rigid staffing minimums and extend other workplace regulations that will only hamper hospitals’ ability to mitigate the impacts of staffing shortages and ensure patients receive the care they need, when they need it. SB 5751 is the Senate companion bill to HB 1868, which was heard Jan. 19 in the House Committee on Labor & Workplace Standards. Read more about these bills from the Jan. 17 Inside Olympia. The Senate Committee on Labor, Commerce & Tribal Affairs held a public hearing on SB 5751 the morning of Monday, Jan. 31. WSHA testified in opposition. (Ashlen Strong)

HB 1621: Creating programs to encourage sexual assault nurse examiner training

WSHA strongly supports HB 1621, which would provide a stipend to defray out-of-pocket expenses for nurses training to become sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs). It would also provide a grant to hospitals to cover the costs incurred when staff pursue SANE training. This would increase the number of SANEs and access to care for survivors of sexual assault, especially in rural areas where the service is lacking. The House Committee on Appropriations will hold a public hearing on HB 1621 at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 1. WSHA will testify in support. (Jacqueline Barton True)

WSHA Weighing In: Jan. 31-Feb. 4

WSHA is weighing in on the following bills this week:

Monday, Jan. 31 

  • House Health Care & Wellness 
    • HB 1610: Concerning the occupational therapy licensure compact. (Ed Phippen)
  • Senate Health & Long Term Care 
    • SB 5768: Enhancing the regulation of vapor products. (Ed Phippen)
  • Senate Labor, Commerce & Tribal Affairs 
    • SB 5751: Improving worker safety and patient care in health care facilities by addressing staffing needs, overtime, meal and rest breaks, and enforcement. (See article above) (Ashlen Strong)
  • Senate Law & Justice 
    • SB 5883: Concerning an unaccompanied homeless youth’s ability to provide informed consent for that minor patient’s own health care, including nonemergency, outpatient, and primary care services, including physical examinations, vision examinations and eyeglasses, dental examinations, hearing examinations and hearing aids, immunizations, treatments for illnesses and conditions, and routine follow-up care customarily provided by a health care provider in an outpatient setting, excluding elective surgeries. (Cara Helmer)

Tuesday, Feb. 1 

  • House Appropriations
    • HB 1621: Creating programs to encourage sexual assault nurse examiner training. (See article above.) (Jacqueline Barton True)
    • HB 1890: Concerning the children and youth behavioral health work group. (Ashlen Strong)

Thank you for testifying!

Thank you to everyone who has testified in support of WSHA’s legislative efforts:

  • Jennifer Burkhardt, Vice President HR and General Counsel, Olympic Medical Center
  • Bill Robertson, CEO, MultiCare Health System
  • Doug Ross, UW Law
  • Sommer Kleweno Walley, CEO, UW Medicine/Harborview Medical Center
  • Deena Hannen, Vice President Case Management, MultiCare Health System
  • Theresa Hollinger, Chief Nursing Officer, Newport Hospital and Health System
  • Mike Martinoli, Chief Nursing Officer, Ferry County Health
  • Tracey Kasnic, Chief Nursing Officer, Central Washington Hospital
  • Lisa Morten, Human Resources Director, Overlake Hospital
  • Laura Bauer, NICU Charge Nurse, Legacy Salmon Creek
  • Katy Ericksen, NICU Nurse Manager, Tacoma General Hospital
  • Susan Scott, Chief Operating Officer, Providence Holy Family Hospital
  • Greg Pennington, Critical Response Nurse, Legacy Salmon Creek
  • Susan Stacey, Chief Executive, Providence Inland Northwest Washington
  • Brenda Sharkey, Chief Nursing Officer, Ocean Beach Hospital
  • Marty Brueggeman, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital


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