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Janie Garner

This is what Nurses do – Alex’s Sunshine fund – #NursesUnite

By | Good Works | One Comment

A Nurse you probably know from around Show Me Your Stethoscope was fired for refusing to take an unsafe assignment.  Actually, she was allowed to ‘resign’.  How would you like to take care of 43 Long Term Care residents, most of which were 2+ assists, all by yourself?Nursing-Home-Staffing

Yeah, me neither.  So she was out of a job for a few weeks.

She is a single mother with no savings account.  One paycheck from poverty.  But for the grace of God go I.  When I was a single mother I often felt helpless, and scared.  I constantly feared what would happen to my life, and my baby if I got sick or hurt.  I was literally one paycheck from poverty.  If I was ill, how would I take care of my beautiful Alex? It haunted me.  Luckily, I had family support in my parents and sisters, and nothing awful ever happened.  Except that one time that Alex sprayed Clorox Cleanup over my open contact lens case and I simultaneously burned the cornea epithelium in both of my eyes.

But that is for another day, and he was only four so we won’t blame him.1465166_10205434744253504_7538822156219905559_n

And this nurse was going to lose all of her utilities, and her new job in home care because her license plates expired last week. She has a small child.  He is her entire world.

So because you donated your hard-earned money to Alex’s Sunshine Fund, we were able to give this mom and nurse a few hundred dollars that will prevent her child from going without electricity and water.  It will allow her to keep her job, and resume her most important responsibility – providing for her little boy.

Alex was killed in 2011 at the age of 17 by a distracted driver. It was horrible, and violent.  He was terrified and in pain when he died.  If I am honest, I still spend every single day trying to live through this. Honoring my son in this way is the greatest gift the members of SMYS have ever given me.

It is a small amount of money, but it meant the world to her. It would have meant a lot to Alex to be able to help this family.

Please continue to donate to Alex’s Sunshine Fund by clicking here. The original post about the fund can be read here.


Thank you for everything.



Alex’s Mom884591_10200989480644692_152753694_o








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SMYS Staff Member of the Week! Nichole Long

By | Nursing | No Comments

Show Me Your Stethoscope Presents

Nichole Long RN. SMYS Ambassador Arizona

How long have you been a nurse and what kind of nursing do you do?
Nichole has been a nurse since 2011. Prior to that she worked in the medical field as a paratrooper medic in the Army in 2001. Today she works in acute care, Med Surg nursing.

What’s your role at SMYS?
Nichole is one of the SMYS Ambassadors in Arizona. She was instrumental in organizing the Arizona State House rally 5/12/16. Not only did Nichole and her team organize the rally their state capital in less than 3 months, they were able to get state legislators, political candidates, and a nurse lawyers to speak at their rally.

In many ways Nichole is a model SMYS ambassador. She and her team took the formula for organizing, improved and implemented it! She was able to pull off a successful event by sheer will, passion and determination! Nurses around the United States saw the SMYS Arizona team take action to advocate for them selves and create pathways for real change to happen! We are all so luck to have Nicole with us!

What is your favorite thing about working at SMYS?
Nichole says her favorite thing about working at SMYS is “seeing the same passion that I have for nursing in other nurses across the nation. The drive to care for people and each other is amazing!” Words from a true NURSE CHAMPION!

Why do you volunteer your time to help SMYS?
“I volunteer my time to help SMYS because I feel the members offer the support that we need to truly put the “care” back in “healthcare”. nichole

What do you want SMYS to be when it is all grown up?
Since SMYS is already involved in advocacy, philanthropy, and unity among members, I would like to see SMYS represented in nursing schools across the country to empower new nurses to use their voice and speak up for change.

You know, Nichole is really on to something here. We do need to pull nursing students into this movement. They should understand the challenges in our profession. More importantly, they should know that a nation of nurses stands behind them when they advocate for their patients and their colleagues.
For our nursing student members, don’t forget to apply for SMYS schollarships here and here Good luck!

When you guys see Nichole Long on the message boards and in the forums, say hello, get to know her! She’s pretty amazing! If you’re interested in hosting an event in your local area she made this awesome video tutorial about how to put your team together. Check it out here

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SMYS Staff of the week: Jennifer Lombardi Story

By | SMYSStaff, Unity | 3 Comments


Jennifer (Story as we call her) has been a nurse (LPN) for 13 years. She has worked in several nursing specialties but most recently has been working in oncology for the past 4 years. She currently works in shirtsmysleukemia research at Massachusetts General. Jennifer has several roles at SMYS including but not limited to moderating the main SMYS group & serving as an SMYS for Change Ambassador for Massachusetts.

What is your favorite thing about working at SMYS?
My Favorite thing about SMYS is the people. I’ve made lots of friends and love seeing everyone come together to support each other. Plus, I love the meme wars!

Why do you volunteer your time to help SMYS?
I volunteer my time because I have seen what this group has accomplished in such a short amount of time and see the potential for what we can become. With these numbers and the passionate members and staff, there is absolutely nothing we can’t achieve.

What do you want SMYS to be when it is all grown up?
When SMYS is all grown up I would love to see it have a physical location, a group that does so much to help people and to make waves in the medical community. Known for our good works, getting safe staffing legislation passed and tackling the next project.

Jennifer is one of the treasures of the SMYS crew. She is always willing to jump in and lend a hand. For example, at the #NursesTakeDC rally she jumped into action to help get hundreds of pizzas delivered to the rally attendees. She ran the SMYS booth at the Nurse Innovation Hackathon at Northeastern University. She, along with other SMYS staff, picked up Janie from the Airport in DC, and even though they got lost, managed to get her to her destination, eventually. Most importantly, she’s a coffee drinker, and will make sure to help you get your morning dose before any SMYS event kicks off. shirt8

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Undocumented Immigrants, the law, and healthcare

By | Health, Healthcare Policy, underserved populations | One Comment

A high school Valedictorian in Texas announced that she was an undocumented immigrant this week, sparking a debate about who should and should not be enjoying the benefits of residency in the US.  Larissa 20160423_blp901Martinez stated the following:


Lovely, brilliant Valedictorian

“By sharing my story, I hope to convince all of you that if I was able to break every stereotype based on what I’m classified as — Mexican, female, undocumented, first generation, low-income — then so can you.” 

My maternal grandparents are from Italy.  My mother is a first-generation American.  I was the first person in my family to go to college, which happened later in my life because my parents didn’t really see the benefit.  After all, my father never graduated high school, and no one in either of their families had been to college and they turned out just fine.

Naturally, in our changing economic climate that was a mistake.  However, back to the undocumented part… When my grandparents came here it was much easier to become a legal resident of the US.  My grandfather was so unbelievably proud to become an American Citizen, after the long and grueling process of naturalization.  He only spoke Italian when he arrived, and worked at low-paying jobs doing manual labor.  He learned English.  He studied, he sweated, and he passed the test after 12 years.

Larissa says that she and her mother have been trying to become a citizen for seven years, and that the US Immigration system is broken.

I am going to make comparisons here.  Preparing for the tomatoes.  tomatoe-thrown

While the US Immigration system is probably broken, the Mexican Immigration system is equally as convoluted and full of red tape.  I cannot just walk into Mexico with my children and set up housekeeping, as Larissa’s mother did.  News stories I read about her family stated that they ‘fled’ to the US; from an abusive, alcoholic father, apparently. It seems to me that it was probably not necessary to illegally enter the US for that reason. I will assume that Larissa’s mother wanted an American life for her children.

In 2011, the Mexican government enacted a ‘softer’ law about undocumented immigrants to Mexico. Up until then, this was the law:

  • Under the Mexican law, illegal immigration is a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison.
  • Immigrants who are deported and attempt to re-enter can be imprisoned for 10 years.
  • Visa violators can be sentenced to six-year terms.
  • Mexicans who help illegal immigrants are considered criminals. 
  • The law also says Mexico can deport foreigners who are deemed detrimental to “economic or national interests,” violate Mexican law, are not “physically or mentally healthy” or lack the “necessary funds for their sustenance” and for their dependents.

Sick and poor undocumented people are not supported by the Mexican government.

So, when Larissa’s family arrived in the US, the law in Mexico was pretty harsh.  Had I done the same thing with my children, I would have been imprisoned for two years and charged with a felony, then deported. The law has since been changed to an administrative and financial penalty, and it is possible to obtain Mexican residency unless you are sick or poor. Larissa’s family was poor.

illegal-immigrants3Having said all that, am I in favor of deporting all undocumented immigrants? No, of course not.  I am in favor of naturalizing them; they already live here and contribute to the economy.  As a matter of fact, they have historically contributed to Social Security and never collect the benefits.  Of course, there are people who work “Off the books”, but the large majority actually contribute to all payroll taxes via a false Social Security number. And this is not the fault of their children, who know no other life.illegal-immigrants-pay

However, if they commit crimes against other people, I am in favor of instantly deporting them.  Not in a year, not after a prison term that we pay for.  That very moment. Mexico can keep her problem children. They have high standards for Americans emigrating to Mexico.

Let’s get to the healthcare part! 🙂

The Affordable Care Act specifically prohibits undocumented immigrants from purchasing health insurance through the marketplace.  Undocumented immigrants can sometimes get coverage through an employer.  They can purchase private health insurance, which is expensive.  If they are a college student, they can purchase a student plan through a university.  These are usually cheap.

Also, a 2012 federal law provides temporary work authorization and relief from deportation to undocumented children and young adults who arrived in the U.S. before turning 16. It’s part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals law, known as DACA. Undocumented immigrants who qualify are eligible. Since we really cannot blame kids for the actions of their parents, I think it is a good concept. In California, undocumented immigrants may be allowed coverage under Medi-Cal if they have DACA status.

I see no problem with undocumented immigrants buying health insurance through the marketplace.  More people = lower prices according to our government.  Also, these folks currently seek primary care in Emergency Departments all over the US because they have no insurance.  11 million undocumented people can clog up a lot of ED’s.  Let’s make them pay for insurance like everyone else, and stop using the ED as a PCP’s office.

While I do not have the answer to the problems we have with undocumented immigrants, I would say that Larissa probably made an error when she did this.  Many people will see it in a negative light.  She is still in the country illegally.  I hope Yale knows her immigration status, and that she is prepared to get a student visa.  She is a smart kid, so she probably thought of this.

However, great job on those grades, girl! I hope you are a great neurosurgeon.

And we don’t need that wall.



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Why would a rape deserve a 6 month sentence on any planet?

By | Advocacy, Events, Healthcare Policy | One Comment

Brock Allen Turner.brockturner

Some would describe him as a promising Stanford student, and competitive swimmer.

I would not.

I would describe him as a 19 year old sexual predator who attacked a 23-year old woman, then got off with a six-month sentence because of a judge who isn’t fit to grace the bench. I would also describe him as a young man who is unable to admit when he has done something wrong, and who blames the victim of the sexual assault he committed for the whole scenario.  He plans to start a charity to combat the ‘campus drinking culture’ instead of the rape culture in which he was an active participant.  If not for two Swedish Grad students, he might have left a young woman naked, unconscious, and alone next to a dumpster; like the disposable object he thought she was.  judge-persky

He took an intoxicated and vulnerable young woman from a party and turned her into an inanimate receptacle for his sexual desires.  He obviously did not seek her permission to do so, and had his attorney emotionally violate her in court.  As if this young woman hadn’t gone through enough, the attorney efficiently assassinated her character on the stand. He placed the focus on the fact that she dared drink to intoxication, which is legal. He diverted attention from the fact that Brock Allen Turner engaged in sexual activity with her while she was unconscious, which is illegal. The attorney asked if she had a habit of cheating on her boyfriend, as if that is even in the same ethical universe.  As if she were consenting to relations with a man who violated her unconscious body.

And dared to say a year later that this young woman consented to sex next to a dumpster.

At what point are we going to stop victim blaming and start teaching our sons that sexual assault is unacceptable? When are we going to stop defending wrongdoing on the part of our sons? At what point do we say, “Son, you have done something so absolutely wrong that I am not defending you with my money. Get a public defender”?

At what point will we stop condoning the assault of young women because they have had too much to drink? At what point will we stop thinking: “She Asked For It” ?2952e1cebda59cd2468e3df296a630a2b262969b724e8e85d109f688701d23dc

There is a petition to recall this judge. Click here if you want to sign it.

Disgusting. Morally Bereft.  Heartbreakingly Sad.






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