Tualatin, OR – On August 17, 2010 the Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) announced its endorsement of John Kitzhaber for Governor, citing his many years of service to the state and his commitment to issues crucial to Oregon’s nursing professionals.
Susan King, Executive Director of ONA, said, "John has been a champion of nurses and the nursing profession for decades, not only in his career as a physician but throughout his lifetime of public service. ONA is proud to endorse him as the leader Oregon needs for the future of our state.”
Kitzhaber’s experience as an emergency room physician combined with his two previous terms as Oregon’s governor make him the ideal candidate for Governor, according to Sheri Malstrom, a nurse and ONA member who was involved in the organization’s endorsement interviews. "It is important for nurses, and all Oregonians, to remember that John Kitzhaber was the author of the groundbreaking Oregon Health Plan, that he is a national leader on innovation in health care delivery, and that Oregon can continue to lead the nation in health care reform with John Kitzhaber as our Governor.”
ONA leaders also cited Kitzhaber’s focus on the role of nurses and nurse practitioners as a means of ensuring that Oregon’s citizens receive the highest quality health care while, at the same time, reducing the overall costs of health care delivery. Carole Most, an ONA member and nurse practitioner, said, "John gets it. He understands that registered nurses and nurse practitioners can, and should, play a central role in the future of health care delivery. Not only will this help deal with the shortage of primary care providers but will also help control costs and ensure the best possible care for patients. John Kitzhaber has the vision and experience that Oregon needs.”
In addition, ONA leaders recognize Kitzhaber’s ability to work closely and collaboratively with labor unions and businesses to move Oregon’s economy forward. "Like all states, Oregon is facing difficult decisions related to our state budget and crucial public services,” added Susan King. "John has the ability to bring people together and is a proven leader. He isn’t afraid to make the difficult choices, and has a proven track record growing Oregon’s economy. That is important to nurses, and to everyone in Oregon.”
|Gubernatorial candidate, John Kitzhaber, answers questions during an interview with ONA leadership and members on August 5, 2010 at the ONA offices in Tualatin, Ore. (photo by Casey Campbell/ONA)|