Posted on November 1, 2023
(HARTFORD) — On Wednesday, State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) joined a bipartisan legislative group in a press conference demanding better treatment of in-home health care workers. Following a rise in criminal cases regarding violence and abuse against certain health care staff, employers were joined by state elected officials to spread awareness and enact solutions on this growing concern.
The conference was convened following an incident where a nurse was murdered when visiting a halfway house for a routine appointment in Willimantic. Sadly, as expressed by Chair of the Public Health Committee State Senator Saud Anwar (D-3), “it was only a matter of time” before the national data caught up with Connecticut.
One statistic shared Wednesday stated that roughly 40% of in-home health care workers reported being physically assaulted, while another survey reported 41% reported being sexually harassed. These employees include nurses, staff, physical therapists, and other rehabilitation workers who are hired to address the needs of a variety of patients and clients through residential care.
Ackert stated, “My sister is a nurse. My former neighbors are in-home caretakers. I joined this bipartisan group of lawmakers today to defend health care workers, like my sister and neighbors, and make sure that they can return home each day unscathed, unharmed, and alive.”
Ackert, who is the Ranking Member of the Labor and Public Employees Committee, added, “There are two approaches we need to take: through composing legislation and through changing company policy to reflect the needs of employees. As a longtime business owner, sometimes you cannot wait for the government to react. First, we need to collaborate with health care employers to implement fast-acting preventative measures, and I’m happy to have joined in starting that conversation today.”
Ackert concluded, “Health care workers are some of the hardest working people I have met. Following the pandemic, their will to work never wavered. Now, with the looming threat of harassment or violence for in-home workers present, we must stand by those who support us ever day more than ever. I look forward to seeing health care employers begin taking appropriate safety steps in the coming weeks to combat this recent issue.”
For more information on the press conference, please visit cga.ct.gov. As always, never hesitate to reach out to Rep. Ackert with your questions, ideas, and concerns at Tim.Akcert@housegop.ct.gov or at 860-240-8700.