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Congressman Don Young Introduces Bill to Curb Rising Rates of Violence Against Health Care and Social Service Workers Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Washington, D.C. Congressman Don Young (R-AK-AL), joined Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02), as an original cosponsor of H.R. 1195, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act. This legislation would curb the rising rates of workplace violence facing health care and social service employees such as nurses, emergency responders, medical assistants, physicians, and social workers. The Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act is supported by a bipartisan coalition of original co-sponsors including Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA-03), Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE-02), Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC-12), Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA-17), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01), and Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK-04). The legislation has also received support from a host of health care and social service professionals, as well as unions representing workers in these sectors. Congressman Young previously helped the House pass this bill in the 116th Congress, and has worked closely with the Alaska Nurses Association on this pressing issue.

"Protecting the safety of America's nurses is not just good policy, it is personal to me. My wife Anne was herself a nurse, so we must ensure that the countless nurses and social workers who take care of us have the support they need to do their jobs safely," said Congressman Young. "The COVID-19 pandemic has stressed our health care systems and created new workplace hazards for our nurses. It is more urgent than ever to send a strong showing of support for these dedicated professionals. I am very proud to introduce the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act with my good friend, Congressman Joe Courtney. This bill is an important component to preventing violence against our nurses and social workers, and I am thankful for the Alaska Nurses Association's continued partnership on this crucial effort. Supporting our nation's caregivers, particularly amid a public health emergency, continues to be one of my highest priorities, and I will keep working to ensure they have the resources and protections necessary to provide compassionate care to our nation's patients.”

"Everyone in this country deserves a safe workplace. Healthcare facilities are places of healing for patients, but those who care for others are often victims of on-the-job violence,” said Donna Phillips, BSN, RN of the Alaska Nurses Association. “In fact, frontline healthcare workers are five times more likely to be assaulted at work than the rest of the labor force. While workplace violence is a daily reality for many nurses and healthcare professionals, we have a chance to stop the violence with H.R. 1195. We are so thankful that Congressman Young is one of the first co-sponsors of this essential legislation, and we appreciate him standing with nurses, social workers, and other healthcare workers so that we can care for our communities in a safe environment.”

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