NY Delivery Nurses Given Shocking New Job
A day before the 2016 election, a pregnant woman’s water unexpectedly broke. As a result, she was brought to a Manhattan hospital, where the first thought in her mind was that she would be missing the upcoming voting day. The incident was later relayed by obstetrics nurse navigator Lisa Schavrien.
Schavrien at the time was set on helping the woman not only deliver her baby but also exercise her voting right as she had originally planned. To achieve this, Schavrien had to find a way to get the woman an absentee ballot, which could be brought to the hospital and then delivered to the polling place.
The day-long trip that was necessary for this to be achieved made Schavrien and her colleague Erin Ainslie Smith, Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, realize that many patients ended up in the hospital before Election day and for that reason might have lost the opportunity to vote.
Schavrien noted that those patients should have the option to vote if they so choose.
It was for these people that the two nurses designed the program, Vote North. By 2018 they were ready to assist patients to vote from their hospital rooms.
In 2020, as many as 124 of the 300 patients in the hospital had voted from their beds. What’s more, 125 patients from other healthcare centers and hospitals had also cast their ballots.
Brad Fischer, who was hospitalized before the 2020 election, recalled that voting was one of the most normal things he could have done after the hospital saved his leg from getting amputated.
Schavrien and Smith are now working to get organized for the upcoming 2022 midterm election to allow as many people as possible to exercise their voting rights even if they end up in the hospital before the Election.
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