Sunday, April 16, 2017

--Support Nurses Right To Speak Out!----------$24,430 of $26k goal Raised by 421 people in 11 days------Theresa Elizabeth Brost 4 days ago 6 Carolyn is my daughter. Our family went through the right channels reporting our care concerns. An investigation was done. Our concerns were recognized, validated and are being addressed.-------Natalie D 9 days ago 12 I support Carolyn Strom! This is an important case for nurses across Canada. It's about time we start talking about how 'official channels' often do not work and put nurses and families in situations of vulnerability. Carolyn Strom did nothing wrong. This penalty is the very definition of censorship. Thank you to all those who donated.----Jenny Rose 3 days ago 2 It is disgusting how SRNA is abusing their powers. As a nurse myself, I fully support Carolyn. I am sorry to hear this has happened to her and all the stress it has caused. May she find comfort in knowing she has the support of many people behind her. I hope all your legal costs are covered/donated and this doesn't end up costing you a cent.----Joanne Smith 13 hours ago Why does this remind me of United Airlines?The penalty is way too extreme is why. Please find one other person ever charged so much for a non criminal infraction. Do you not think two years of hearings and an essay would not have done the trick. Not a good week for nurses and doctors!-------Susan Macaulay 3 days ago We need MORE not fewer nurses to speak out against the systemic elder neglect and abuse that is part of long-term institutional care in Canada. We should INCENTIVIZE not punish nurses like Carolyn Strom who want to change for the better the poor treatment so many of our elders receive while in "care." Having witnessed the neglect and abuse of a family member over a period of four years, I know first hand exactly what goes on. We need more whistleblowers to make their voices heard so the broken elder care system will be changed. This case is an absolute outrage. Bravo Carolyn Strom. Shame on you Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association!--

#SpeakOutNurses-and families will join y'all in speaking out. For far too long in Alberta we've been facing retribution for speaking about the issues that we are confronted with in the continuing care system. We have gone through the proper channels and we're now telling the world that the proper channels don't work. We're saying that government is complicit with the industry and the health authorities in covering up the harm, abuse and deaths simply because it doesn't look good when government doesn't do it's oversight job and families have to do this work for them. Its troubling that we pay so much to folks in Alberta Health, AHS, Covenant Health, the continuing care industry, the Health Advocates, the Seniors Advocate, the Mental Health Advocate, the Protection for Persons in Care office, the Ombudsman and so on and so forth for very little results. We have families doing the discovery of non-compliances and I can't find the audits for the facility. Where are the audits? Aren't they supposed to be done on a regular schedule? And so where are they? Why did we only get one audit for the entire life of the facility? What are we paying AHS and Alberta Health for? To sit on their rumps?
This is why it's important for nurses to stand with advocates who also face retribution for saying the truth-that government fails at the work of oversight, funding and training of the folks in the continuing care system. Government fails. End of story.

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https://www.gofundme.com/support-nurses-right-to-speak-out

Support Nurses Right To Speak Out!



(UPDATE): We wish to thank everyone who contributed. All funds are transferred to Carolyn Strom, in case of any money left over after her legal fees are covered, we will be donating to a seniors' advocacy group.

As nurses, nursing students and nursing faculty in Canada, we are deeply disturbed by the SRNA's treatment of Carolyn Strom and wish to show our solidarity.

On February 25, 2015, nurse Carolyn Strom, after having witnessed what she considers inadequate care for her dying grandfather, posted a critique on Facebook of the long-term care home in which he spent his final days. Even though she was evidently distraught by the passing of her loved one, she nevertheless managed to bring some constructive criticism and advice to the staff that cared for her grandfather. Instead of addressing the concerns cited in the post directly, the staff and management of the long-term care facility filed a complaint with the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association (SRNA), which is the regulatory body of professional nursing in the province. This complaint was received, and after a trial that lasted over two years where nurse Strom was ‘laid into’ as per witnesses, she was found guilty of professional misconduct (1-2). The SRNA wishes to impose a 30,000$ penalty; 5000$ in fines and 25,000$ to cover the cost of their investigations. This harsh penalty, according to the SRNA lawyer, serves to “ drive home” the message that nurses cannot publicly criticize their profession (3). 

This last statement touches the core of the issue. Nurses are healthcare  professionals and as such are rightfully held to high standards. They should always act in the best interest of the people they care for. But those standards should NOT include self-censorship and renouncing their right to speak-up.

Despite widespread outrage at the treatment of Carolyn Strom, including a petition signed by nearly 600 supporters asking the SRNA to reverse its decision (4), the SRNA has refused to even discuss the case with nurses or students (5). 

Nurse Carolyn Strom has spent two years travelling hundreds of miles to attend her disciplinary hearings which were held hours away from her place of residence. The financial and physical toll this ordeal has taken on her is excruciating. Furthermore, her penalty hearing is coming to a close, and it is likely the SRNA will succeed in imposing the 30,000$ penalty. 

Please show your solidarity by donating and/or write to the SRNA and sign the petition to express your opinion on this matter. All the funds we raise will be sent to our colleague Carolyn Strom. The SRNA decision is setting a precedent for nurses across Canada. Nurses must not be muzzled! Let nurses speak!

Signed:

Marilou Gagnon, RN, PhD, Ottawa, Ont.
Damien Contandripoulos, PhD, Montreal, Qc.
Amélie Perron, PhD, Ottawa, Ont.
Natalie Stake-Doucet, RN, Montreal, Qc.
Emilie Hudson, RN, Montreal, Qc.
Caroline Dufour, RN, Ottawa, Ont.
Jaimie Carrier, RN, Dalhousie, NS.
Sophie Pomerleau, RN, PhD(c) Qc.
Anne Lardeux, MSc, Montreal, Qc.
Bernard Roy, RN, PhD, Quebec, Qc.


Links:

1- National Post article: http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/shes-attacking-me-as-a-colleague-registered-nurse-facing-discipline-over-critical-facebook-post


2- Transcript of discipline decision:https://www.srna.org/images/stories/RN_Competence/Comp_Assurance_Hearings/SRNA_Discipline_Decision_Strom_Redacted_Oct_27_2016.pdf

3- Toronto Sun article: http://www.torontosun.com/2017/02/18/complaining-about-granddads-care-on-facebook-could-cost-nurse-30gs

4- Online petition: https://www.change.org/p/saskatchewan-registered-nurses-association-let-nurses-speak

5- Letter to SRNA from nursing students:https://radicalnursesite.wordpress.com/2016/12/04/nursing-students-want-to-talk-about-silence/


$24,430 of $26k goal



Raised by 421 people in 11 days


(UPDATE): The SRNA has made public the penalty decision: Carolyn Strom is being ordered to pay a total of 26,000$. As nurses, nursing students and nursing faculty in…
GOFUNDME.COM

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Joanne Smith



13 hours ago






Why does this remind me of United Airlines?The penalty is way too extreme is why. Please find one other person ever charged so much for a non criminal infraction. Do you not think two years of hearings and an essay would not have done the trick. Not a good week for nurses and doctors!
Julie Ali
1 day ago



The problem of retribution is well known in Alberta since the time Ruth Adria (a nurse) spoke out about care issues and was sued. Ruth Adria did not stop speaking and created the Elder Advocates of Alberta Society to speak for seniors and other vulnerable people in our society. I am being sued by the Good Samaritan Society for speaking about the care of my sister at the Good Samaritan Extended Care at Millwoods in Edmonton. The health authorities--AHS and Covenant Health are partners with the continuing care industry as are the folks at Alberta Health. But who is partners with the families? This is a good question. I have spoken to three health minister--Mr.Horne, Mr. Mandel and Ms. Hoffman about the care issues, the retribution problems such as eviction, banning and lawsuits that are used against families and nothing has been done. Why has nothing been done? I guess no one wants the dirty laundry out in public. But without public discourse these problems repeat and result in fatality. A change in funding and a better system of oversight is required. Why are families reporting abuse, neglect and non-compliance to the government of Alberta? Why is there no reasonable oversight by government and the health authorities? Why are there no penalties and no required actions such as education of staff until repeated adverse events occur? Why no action with a first adverse event so a second one occurs that is identical? Why are we the ones being punished for doing the right thing while those in government who fail their work aren't held accountable?
Shannon Hancock
2 days ago




It would be wonderful to keep the conversation going. A Facebook page perhaps...?
Susan Macaulay
3 days ago



We need MORE not fewer nurses to speak out against the systemic elder neglect and abuse that is part of long-term institutional care in Canada. We should INCENTIVIZE not punish nurses like Carolyn Strom who want to change for the better the poor treatment so many of our elders receive while in "care." Having witnessed the neglect and abuse of a family member over a period of four years, I know first hand exactly what goes on. We need more whistleblowers to make their voices heard so the broken elder care system will be changed. This case is an absolute outrage. Bravo Carolyn Strom. Shame on you Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association!
Thom Barker
3 days ago



http://www.yorktonthisweek.com/opinion/columnists/crime-diary-saskatchewan-nurse-s-26k-fine-is-a-travesty-of-justice-1.15096090
Kirsti Johnson
3 days ago
1



Could you clarify whether the donated funds will be used to pay the fine. or fight the decision? I am happy to support a fight, but would have a hard time swallowing the idea of legitimizing the SNRA's decision by paying them off.
Carey Nicole

3 days ago
1




I support you Carolyn! The SRNA should not have the right to reach into a nurses personal and private lives and dictate a persons Canadian Charter right to "freedom of expression"
Jenny Rose
3 days ago



It is disgusting how SRNA is abusing their powers. As a nurse myself, I fully support Carolyn. I am sorry to hear this has happened to her and all the stress it has caused. May she find comfort in knowing she has the support of many people behind her. I hope all your legal costs are covered/donated and this doesn't end up costing you a cent.
KJ Cornish
3 days ago



So glad that the troll who reported this page got the opposite of what they wanted, and now people are sharing it more than ever! And glad to see the groundswell of support with only a few bitter comments. Carolyn, I would want your compassion and skills to be at anyone in my family's side during a medical need! Stay strong!
Philip Herman
3 days ago
3



I post a comment here as I have noted several posts from persons who clearly don't have an understanding of the limitations of the disciplinary process that has been referenced on this page. I had thought these limitations to be obvious, but it seems this is not the case. Also, my comment here is about just that - process. Note that I do support this campaign, which, as I said before, seems a most unreasonable levy sanctioned against one of the most reasonable persons I know. Firstly, the SRNA disciplinary process was not tasked with determining whether adequate/inadequate care was provided to the now deceased person. Its scope was to determine whether (in their opinion) discipline was necessary against the RN who spoke up about this person's care, and in this case, what that penalty should be. The SRNA may be the regulatory body for RNs whom work in the facility, but it has little jurisdiction over the facility itself. Those who are pointing to the absence of apparent shortcomings at the facility in the full transcript of the SNRA decision and using that as a basis to argue a point here are being naive. They are foolishly assuming that the lack of such information in the decision infers that the RN in question had no basis for her complaint. This decision does not address that. I have read the full text of the SRNA's decision as published online. As per that reference, I note that witnesses from the facility - presumably RNs - testified at the hearing. As per the boundaries of the process, their published testimony regarding any care could only be related to their understanding of whether there had been previous complaints by the RN in question and if due process had been followed. Secondly, I direct another important clarification toward those whom are stating that they see no evidence of shortcomings at this facility. They should clearly recognize the limits of such personal statements. There can be no way for them to actually know if adequate care was provided to the deceased person in question, while also recognizing that it is none of their business. They are not family members of the deceased person in question, and I can safely assume that they were not spending every moment of their own lives with their own family members at this facility, while directly witnessing all care being provided to other residents. Furthermore, and most importantly, the investigation into the care provided at this health facility was and is a completely separate process from the SRNA's process, and I gather that if/when such an investigation into said facility were ever to be "made public", that all their questions would be answered. Finally, I recognize this is a difficult situation for all directly involved and indirectly involved parties. However, I strongly encourage those that are using the above flawed arguments to take a step back while perhaps toning down their own outrage - which seems to be clearly fueled by their connections to the community in question - and recognize the infallible reality of the above.
Fran Stang



4 days ago
3






In the judgement handed down by the SRNA, was there any indication that mistreatment had actually taken place? The bottom line is that she improperly and naively vented on a public platform where she called into question the abilities of fellow nurses. Facebook is not the place for such criticism. There are channels and protocols to lodge complaints. There is no indication that her concerns were not addressed by the administration at the facility in question. In fact, her mother has stated in this forum that their concerns were addressed. The judgement levied $25,000.00 for costs associated with the hearing and investigation and a $1000 fine. In their first finding, SRNA offered Ms. Strom an alternative penalty which she chose to decline to accept in favour of pursuing the issue further. She should have been aware of the possible consequences and ramifications of her actions given the evidence and determination of the first part of the hearing. Who is to be held responsible for the costs of the hearing - salaries for staff to attend the hearing to defend themselves, investigators, etc? Do you believe the health care facility should absorb the cost? This should be a lesson to all people, especially those of you in a profession, use the proper procedures when you have a complaint. Facebook or other social media is not the place to air your grievances when the subject/s are not able to respond, either because of being unaware of the posting or because they are morally bound by their professional Code of Conduct. It is incorrect to picture Ms. Strom as a 'whistleblower' and to assume that there is an ongoing problem with this facility. St. Joseph's Health Care Facility operated as St. Joseph's Hospital beginning in 1926 when the Sisters of St. Elizabeth came to Macklin to provide health care. It transitioned into a health care facility in the 1990s. It is a small facility of 25 beds where excellent, compassionate care is provided for the elderly and infirm of our community. The admirable and precious legacy of the Sisters has been tarnished with the negative publicity and comments these accusations have generated. Present staff who work tirelessly to provide quality care have also been negatively impacted by negative reports in the media and the negative comments posted by people who have little true knowledge of how things really are in this place and this community and who have based their view on a very narrow and subjective source of information. I wholeheartedly support the staff of St. Joseph's and empathize with them knowing the stress this has caused. They did not deserve to have their competence and emotional investment in the care of their clients called into question and then to be disparaged by many on social media.
Theresa Elizabeth Brost

4 days ago




Carolyn is my daughter. Our family went through the right channels reporting our care concerns. An investigation was done. Our concerns were recognized, validated and are being addressed.
Natalie D
4 days ago
7



Thank you for your comment Ms. Jan Curry Fortier. Indeed the SRNA is the professional regulatory body, not the union. In fact the Saskatechwan Union of Nurses (SUN) has publicly come out in support of Carolyn Strom: https://youtu.be/FZTbmxuYv3Y
Thom Barker
4 days ago
1




http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/a-preposterous-injustice-grieving-nurse-slapped-with-a-26000-fine/article34642979/
Jan Curry Fortier
5 days ago
8




I'm seeing many comments about "the nurses' union" here, filled with righteous indignation. If I might clarify for those who are confused, this case was brought by the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses' Association, the professional regulatory body for registered nurses in the province. The Saskatchewan Union of Nurses is an entirely separate (and dare-I-say diametrically opposed) group. In fact, SUN would have provided Carolyn with legal support throughout her ordeal. Witch hunts such as these are occurring in every province, but are usually not publicized as this one was. The definition of professional misconduct appears to becoming looser and looser, to the point where virtually any act - be it within the workplace or without - is a potentially punishable one. One only needs be identified in some way as a registered nurse and the game's afoot. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Whistleblower Act seem toothless in the face of such persecution. The very fact these cases are called tribunals speaks to the extreme punitive measures to be taken and it's frightening the degree of vitriol being heaped upon nurses these days.
Craig Welbourn
5 days ago



This is not the Canada I've grown up in. Instead, it places Canada squarely into the same category as other suppressive regimes around the world. Unfortunately, Canada's Whistleblower law (425.1 of the Criminal Code), which makes it 'a criminal offence for employers, anyone acting on behalf of an employer, or a person in a position of authority over an employee, to take disciplinary action, demote, terminate, otherwise adversely affect the employee’s employment, or threaten any of these things, in order to force the employee to refrain from providing information to law enforcement officials about the commission of an offence by his or her employer or by an officer, employee or director of the employer', and makes it 'an offence to threaten or retaliate against an employee who has already provided information' , apparently does not apply to whistleblowers.
Julia Kristina
5 days ago
5



This kind of harsh Dictator-like punishment is completely inappropriate, and not at all Canadian. Not impressed SRNA. (and I hope you don't fine me $26K for disagreeing with you!)
Shawn Richard Monaghan
6 days ago



I've had loved ones in hospital and in palliative care. Our family needed to keep around the clock vigil to ensure they were properly cared for in both the palliative and non-palliative wards. She should be praised not fined.
Trudy Hitchcock

6 days ago
5




This is totally wrong,she has a right to complain about the care a family member recieved.We as nurses,or retired nurses belong to an association that is also supposed to protect the public,this association has missed the opportunity to do just that,instead they are victimizing this family member.
Shaista S Sajan
6 days ago
6




I hope that amidst this injustice, the support of your fellow nurses will let you grieve the loss of your grandfather. In solidarity, A fellow RN
Linda Graham
6 days ago




Paulette Leibel, Carolyn Strom was speaking on her own Facebook page not as a nurse criticizing her place of employment but as a grand daughter criticizing the care her grandfather received. I hope that a private citizen can always have a right to free speach as a private citizen in this country. If she had concerns about the care someone was getting in her place of employment then she should use the "private channels". I don't see any problem with this. It's shameful.
Kathy Hanna
6 days ago



Glad I don't live in Canada! Just think of the abuses to patients that go unheeded by rules like this? I can't quite wrap my mind around this? It's like the Catholic Church when they tried to cover up sexual abuse.
Shannon Hancock
7 days ago
6



The punishment did not fit the "crime". There were other more effective, less punitive and victimizing, and more compassionate ways to address this.
Lynn Hutchinson
8 days ago
5



This is appalling! I can't imagine what this poor girl has gone through! I support her 100%
Karina Honeyman
9 days ago



Costs at $150,000? Impossible. What is more probable is costs decisions are being used for money laundering purposes whereby a bribe is paid for a particular decision. What better way to muddy the waters than to have the defendant pay the bribe through costs!
Natalie D




9 days ago







I support Carolyn Strom! This is an important case for nurses across Canada. It's about time we start talking about how 'official channels' often do not work and put nurses and families in situations of vulnerability. Carolyn Strom did nothing wrong. This penalty is the very definition of censorship. Thank you to all those who donated.
Paulette Leibel
9 days ago
8



It reiterates the proper channels that health care workers are bound to when they feel they need to speak. And this was not followed. Social media is not the place!
Paulette Leibel
9 days ago
5



This does not take away a nurses right to speak! It re

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