SEIU Healthcare Nursing Division: Our union extends our deepest sympathies to the family of another fallen healthcare hero

Richmond Hill, Ontario (April 9, 2021)—The following is a joint statement from Sharleen Stewart, President of SEIU Healthcare, and Jackie Walker, RPN and President of SEIU Healthcare’s Nursing Division:

“We are deeply saddened by the news that yet another registered practical nurse (RPN) in Ontario has passed away after contracting COVID-19. Our union extends our deepest sympathies to the family of this healthcare hero.

This avoidable death reminds us that COVID-19 is alive and well in our communities and it calls on all of us to do what is required to keep people safe.

While the circumstances around how this RPN contracted COVID-19 have not been made public, we know more needs to be done to ensure no healthcare worker goes without the required PPE, including N95 respirators.

It is long past time the provincial government recognize the evidence for airborne transmission of this pandemic, especially given the rise of variants of concern.

For nurses and other healthcare workers who are impacted by this news or who are experiencing pandemic stress and anxiety, we encourage you to please reach out to your union or call 211 to find mental health supports.”

SEIU Healthcare represents more than 60,000 healthcare and community service workers across Ontario. The union’s members work in hospitals, homecare, nursing and retirement homes, and community services throughout the province.