Nancy MacMorris-Adix, RN, MN, CNM and Maria I. Rodriguez, MD, MPH, co-authored the following letter in support of HB 2005. Over 140 healthcare clinicians have signed on to this letter to support the passage of a universal paid family and medical leave policy in Oregon.

As clinicians, we urge the Oregon Legislature to pass House Bill 2005, a universal paid family and medical leave policy this session. This program would ensure everyone can take the time they need for treatment without jeopardizing their economic security, which is critical to the success of a strong health care system.

Currently our federal and state laws only provide access to unpaid family and medical leave, and still only cover a small minority of Oregon families. This disproportionately impacts women, people of color, single parents and low-wage workers—those already facing the highest barriers to care. As clinicians, we witness these unfortunate positions firsthand: Families must continue to work and leave their loved ones to recover from an illness or medical condition alone, or give up a paycheck so they can be together as a family. All Oregonians deserve time to recover from their own or a loved one’s serious illness and should have the opportunity to welcome a new child to the home.

Paid family leave is important for the overall health of both parents and children. As infants, we experience rapid rates of brain and nervous system development and form early bonds with our caregivers that set us up for success. Breastfeeding can increase bonding between the child and nursing mother, stimulate positive neurological and psychosocial development, and strengthen a child’s immune system. Women are more likely to breastfeed when they take maternity leave, and longer leave increases both the likelihood and duration of breastfeeding. Additionally, studies have shown that children whose mothers take time from work after childbirth are more likely to receive well-baby checkups in the first years of life, and have a greater likelihood of receiving all the recommended vaccinations.

Paid family leave has documented benefits for both children and parents. Both mothers and fathers who had access to family leave reported positive overall and mental health impacts. One study showed that fathers who were able to take family leave for the birth of a child were more likely to spend increased time with their children in the months following childbirth.

It is also imperative that we have a policy that goes beyond just parental leave—a truly progressive program must include a definition of family that reflects the diversity of our state, and allows Oregonians to take paid leave to recover from their own or a loved one’s serious medical event.

As clinicians, we know how devastating it can be to not be able to take time off work when you need to: guaranteed paid time off is not available for all workers, even within the healthcare industry. The United States is one of the only countries in the world without a paid family and medical leave program, and that means that people can only take time off to welcome a child or care for a loved one if they can afford to do so. It is time that all Oregoniansregardless of their circumstanceshave time to care. We hope you will join us by contacting your legislators to tell them to vote yes on H.B. 2015.

Sincerely,

Nancy MacMorris-Adix, RN, MN, CNM, Maria I. Rodriguez, MD, MPH, and over 140 additional healthcare providers signed on in support the passage of paid family and medical leave in Oregon. See the full list at www.timefororegon.org. Dr. Maria Rodriguez is an associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the OHSU School of Medicine, however this is a personal opinion and does not represent the opinion of OHSU.

Katie Alton, MD
Jaekyoung Hong, MD
Louisa Chatroux, MD
Carrie Frederick Miles, MD, MPH
Colleen McCormick, MD, MPH
Janae Brill, MD, MPH
Lisa Reynolds, MD
Marguerite Rodriguez
Vanessa Layoun, MD, MPH
Amy Caldwell, MD
Smitha R. Chadaga, MD, FHM, FACP
Emily Schloff, MD
Angie Reynolds, MD
Molly Siegel, MD
Alison Edelman, MD, MPH
Susan E. Cook, CNM
Jessica Lehrfeld, DO
Michelle Berlin, MD
Maxine Dexter, MD
Alyssa Colwill, MD, MCR
Carol Bunten, MD
Britta Ameel, MD
Amie Leaverton, MD
Anna Lobzova Saifi, DO
Christine Guenzi, MD
Laura Van Houten, MD, MPH
Paula Bednarek, MD, MPH
Jacqueline Dillon, RN
Debby Phillips, PhD, PMHNP
Kristin Harman, RN
Kimberly Cabral, MD
Janet Hopkins, RN
Mary Romanaggi, RN
Jessica Reid, MD
Jackie Bohn, MD
Linda A. Ramsey
James R. McLain Jr., RN, ONA, BOD
Melissa Busch, RN
Teri Mills, MS, RN, CNE (Retired)
Diane N. Solomon, PhD, PMHNP-BC, CNM
Jen Barr, DNP, FNP-C
Travis Nelson, RN, BSN, RN-BC
Mandy McKimmy, DNP, FNP-C
Jacqueline Dillon, RN
Margaret Ngai, RN, BSN
Linda Ramsey, RN
Lynn Schonbrod, RN
Rachael Postman, DNP, FNP-C
Tina Walde, DNP, PMHNP
Tara O’Connor, DNP, PMHNP
Bruce Humphreys, BSN, RN
Sandra Kellogg, RN, MSN
Jordan Ferris, MSN, RN
Danielle Morgan, RN
Kathleen “Kat” Chinn, MS, FNP-BC
Larlene Dunsmuir, DNP, FNP, ANP-C
Caitlin Reid, RN
Rachel Prusak, APRN, FNP
Lisa M. Logsdon BSN, CMSRN
Jodie Taylor, RN, BSN
Jody L. Paradis, RN
Kendra Fehr, RN
Amber Vermeesch, PhD, MSN, RN, FNP-C, CNE
Kay Carnegie, RN MS
Rebecca Bolling, MSN, FNP-C
Christine Holden, RN
Shelby Lee Freed, MS, FNP-BC
Tracy MacKenzie, RN
Yvonne Perceval, RN
Tabitha Robustelli, RN
Karleah Scow RN, BSN
Maile Souza, RN, BSN
Paula Kirkpatrick, RN
Tiffany Carpenter, RN
Sarah Williams, RN, BSN
Joan Carr LaPorte, MN,RN
Shana Issel, OB-RNC
Heidi Lavoie, RN
Sasha Olszewski, RN
Deborah Riddick, JD, RN
Naomi Preston, RN
Misty Gordon, RN
Kathryn Johnson, RN
Andrea McKinnon, RN, BSN
Kristina Acord, RN, BSN
Carol Pearce, RN
Megan Chaffin, MSN, FNP
Christie Schreiber, RN
Kathy Hargate, RN
Nicole Brooks, RN
Paul Seer, RN
Samantha Allen, RN
Marie Gouz, BSN, RN
Karyssa Booth, RN, BSN, RRT, PCCN
Wendy Hounsel, MSN, FNP-BC
Kyle Swantek, RN, BSN
Shirley Kenney, RN, BSN, CWCN
Amber Kuehnast, RN
Melissa Pfleiger, RN
Beth Takahashi, RN
Heather Harding, RN
Mary Carter, BSN, RN
Danielle R. Gonzales, BSN, RN
Donna Gilman, RNC-OB
Kristin Applegate-King, BSN, RN
Edi Sachs, RN
Margo Huntsman, RNC, MSN
Elsa Wirkkala, RN, BSN
Diane A. Chase, RNC
Kimberly Cleveland, RN
Cameron Fehr
Caitlin Humphrey, RN
Kathy Hargate, RN
Christina Terkildsen, RN
Kristen Thompson, BSN, RN
Debra A. Gray, MSN, RN
Jeanne Fratto, RN (Retired)
Peter J. Crooks, RN (Retired)
Denise Gontiz, FNP-C, RN, MSN
Elaine Rasmussen, RN
Amanda Robb, RNC-OB
Stefanie R. Edenburn
Ashleigh LeBlanc, CCP, FPP
Julie Spencer, RN, BSN
Kristen Amstutz, RN
Jackie Sammons, FNP-C
Jan R. Koska, RN
Maggie Schein, RN
Sarah West, CNM
Monica Arce, CNM, IBCLC
Bessie-Jane Sully, RN
Elizabeth Kavanaugh, CNM
Rhonda D. lowe, RN
Laura Jenson, CNM
Elaine A. Robinson, RNC
Pa Vue, RN
Tatyana Dembrow, FNP
Mindie Alpert, CNM
Sara Wohlgemuth, FMP
Alison Appelhanz, RN
Lucille Glick, CNM
Lena S. Wood, MEd, MN, CNM
Rosalind Elliott, CNM
Glynis Flanigan, NP
Carrie Lovgren McGuigan, ANP
Vicki Cohen, CNM
Christina Steurer, WHNP-BC
Nancy MacMorris-Adix, RN, MN, CNM
Maria I. Rodriguez, MD, MPH

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