As state representative for House District 32, and an Astoria community member, I stand in support of Columbia Memorial Hospital's nurses in their fight for a fair contract.

While I respect the position of CMH and their leadership regarding some of the obstacles they face in providing health care in a smaller market, the voices of our nurses deserve to be heard and respected as they speak out about the workplace issues that have a significant bearing on the health outcomes of our community.

As a designated critical access hospital that receives enhanced public resources and financial supports, combined with a variable — yet sustainable measure of profitability — CMH should be looking heavily into reinvesting those resources fairly to ensure that our hospital's workforce is treated with dignity.

The nurses' asks are rational and just: To staff the hospital at a rate that allows adequate and safe patient care; to bring forth stable and predictable scheduling practices; and to help meaningfully fund recruitment, retention and training initiatives to help address our vital need for increased access to qualified care providers.

As nurses who are on the forefront each day providing compassionate, high-quality care to patients across the greater Clatsop County area, these nurses' steadfast efforts to strengthen hospital standards and reinforce safe working conditions are imperative to the well-being and overall health of our region moving forward.

I am proud to support all CMH nurses, and encourage the community to stand with them.

TIFFINY MITCHELL

Astoria

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