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LTE – Shirley Matzek – 10-16-2013

Dear Editor,

This letter is to draw attention to a serious concern regarding licensing of nurses, especially those hired to care for vulnerable adults such as the elderly, mentally ill, or disabled. 

Please read the following article in this week’s Minneapolis Star Tribune:

A nurse whose license is, thankfully, at least temporarily suspended after multiple convictions, including abuse of her own children is highlighted:

Please read what can happen in nursing homes when staff are only suspended and do not lose a license permanently.  Why aren’t medical personnel required to have random drug testing?  What would happen to others holding professional licenses?  Would a school teacher be allowed to have multiple convictions and still retain a license?

In St. Croix County, we have a nursing home gem—the Five Star County Health Center in New Richmond.  Even after the public voted twice to provide tax support if necessary to keep this wonderful home, there is a small group currently appointed to the Health and Human Services Board who are determined to close the home.  There is not balance on this board to advocate for the actual wishes of the public.

Please inform yourself about this serious issue and make your thoughts known to your County Supervisor and spread the word.

Shirley Matzek
Hudson, WI