HPAE President Debbie White, RN, will be available for interviews after 10 a.m. today.
On this International Workers’ Memorial Day, we take a moment to honor the memory of HPAE members we lost to workplace acquired COVID-19 infections during this most difficult of years:
- Alfredo Pabatao, a transporter at Palisades Medical Center and beloved HPAE member for 18 years, died March 26, 2020
- And, from our union family, Alfredo’s wife, Susana, an assistant nurse in a long-term care facility, died a few days later
- Maria Luisa Lopez, a member at HPAE Local 5185 at Bayonne Medical Center, died on March 31
- Susan Cicala, a registered nurse at Northern State Prison as part of Rutgers’ University Correctional Health Care and a member of HPAE Local 5089, died on April 4, 2020
- Nagi Abraham, Local 5094, a lab tech at University Hospital, died on April 12, 2020
- We lost George Sisnero, a registered nurse at University Hospital with HPAE Local 5089 on May 24, 2020
- On July 12, Nancy Martell, a Patient Care Technician at Palisades Medical Center and a beloved vice president at Local 5030, died after a long illness from the disease
- And, Cécilia Pasqual, a registered nurse at Englewood Hospital and member at HPAE Local 5004, died less than 2 weeks ago on April 15.
These losses are simply incomprehensible. We must fight to protect all healthcare workers and improve transparency. Today, on International Workers’ Memorial Day, thousands of nurses and healthcare workers across NJ are wearing black ribbons to honor the colleagues they have lost. We must continue to advocate for improved health and safety measures to reduce the risk of workplace exposure, making it safe for our staff, our patients and our communities. When healthcare workers are safe, patients are safe as well.