Thursday July 19th 2018

Justice for Winkler nurses

ANA hailed another victory for two nurses once arrested for ”official misuse of information” for their efforts to report a physician’s questionable practices. The People’s World report that the sheriff who made that arrest has been convicted of official oppression, retaliation and misuses of official information, two felonies and a misdemeanor. He was sentenced to four years of felony probation, 100 days in jail, and a $6,000 fine. Further he must surrender his “peace officer” license. The others who have been indicted, Rolando Arafiles, MD, and County Attorney Scott Tidwell, await trial. The hospital has already been fined $15,850 for improper supervision of the physician. Nurses all over the country rallied behind the Winkler nurses in support of their right to be protected as “whistle-blowers.” The Texas Nurses Association supported them, and nurses sent thousands of dollars to support their defense. American Nurses Association (ANA) President Karen A. Daley, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN, in the online bulletin Nursing Insider, said, “The public trusts nurses to be their advocates, and nurses are legally bound to protect patients and their quality of care.”

— Mary McNamara is the senior public relations specialist at ANA.

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