My name is Natalie Garza, and I work as an emergency room technician at O’Conner Hospital, a Daughters of Charity facility in San Jose. I am so excited to be on the 2012 bargaining team.
We are coming to the bargaining table with a fresh perspective and a new focus: improving health in California – for healthcare workers and our patients.Today is our first day of bargaining, and I couldn’t be more hopeful about our ambitious plan. The time is now for big, bold ideas.
Healthcare workers are asking Daughters of Charity to work with them to recruit and train healthcare workers to meet growing demand for healthcare services, help fight the alarming increase in chronic illness statewide and focus on new ways to improve healthcare for everyone.
I personally know the effects of a broken healthcare system. Every day I see patients who come into the emergency room with conditions that could have been prevented if they had reliable access to quality healthcare.
I regularly help treat a woman who not only suffers from diabetes, but she is also homeless. She roams the streets in a wheel chair because she lost a leg due to complications from diabetes, and she risks losing her other leg in the not too distant future.
Her health should have never gotten so bad, but she did not want to be a burden on her family or society so she just tried to make due. Now she is going to lose her other leg as she slowly looses her eyesight.
This patient is just one example of thousands of people who are hurt by our current healthcare system. So many decent, hardworking people don’t have access to regular check ups and medication. They wait till things get so bad that they have to come to the ER.
This is literally a matter of life and limb. She may lose her leg because we have a healthcare system that is out of whack.
It may be too late for her, but I live and work in a community with thousands of people who would benefit from an improved healthcare system. It’s not too late to step into the lives of thousands of Californians who want to be healthy, productive citizens.
As a healthcare worker I am ready to work on making California healthier. I look forward to working with a coalition of healthcare workers and providers to make this dream a reality.
Learn more about improving health in California: