12:32 PM Eastern - Monday, October 1, 2012

SEIU Nurses and Doctors Share Outreach Success Stories at White House Forum on Healthcare Law #the-healthcare-law

SEIU Healthcare Chair Dr. L. Toni Lewis joined more than a dozen nurses from SEIU locals and physicians from the Committee of Interns and Resident of SEIU Healthcare at a White House Healthcare Forum last Friday focusing on outreach to patients and continuing implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

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Marilyn Ralat-Albernas, RN of 1199SEIU Florida was featured on a panel devoted to outreach and shared some of the tools she uses to educate colleagues in her hospital and community about the healthcare law. Marilyn shared her experience educating her colleagues through "Empowering Patients," a nurse-to-nurse training initiative developed by the Nurse Alliance of SEIU Healthcare. Her outreach includes lunchtime education seminars and town hall meetings in both English and Spanish to help healthcare professionals and patients both young and old understand the law.

"This is an incredibly important discussion," said Marilyn. "As caregivers on the frontlines of care we directly implement the benefits of this law and need to share the best practices. I left this event even more energized to continue educating my colleagues."

"SEIU members have been working so hard to be advocates and educators regarding the Affordable Care Act," said Dr. L. Toni Lewis. "We are so proud to be part of this historic effort, and will continue to work with our colleagues to make a real difference for our patients, families and communities."

SEIU nurses and doctors left the discussion eager to partner with other members of the care team to go out into their communities to talk to patients about the healthcare law.

"Frontline care physicians have already seen the benefits of the Affordable Care Act in action," said Dr. Dr. Ifeoma Ikwueke, an internal medicine resident in New York City and Regional Vice President for CIR. "But too many of our most vulnerable patients lack basic knowledge of the benefits they are eligible for now, or will be eligible for in the future. It's up to us to bridge that gap, and we're committed to doing so."

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