Press Release

AFT Announces National Initiative to Reclaim the Promise of High-Quality Healthcare for All

For Release: 

Friday, May 9, 2014


Richard A. Fowler
202/393-6355; Cell: 202/412-7745


BALTIMORE—Today, the American Federation of Teachers, one of the nation's largest nurses unions, launched its national effort to reclaim the promise of high-quality healthcare during the first-ever joint AFT Healthcare Professional Issues Conference and National Federation of Nurses Annual Labor Academy. More than 275 nurses, healthcare workers and community partners attended the conference.

"Nurses and other healthcare workers are being stretched to the limit—lowering nurse staffing levels and putting patients and families in danger, all while corporations and executives are making record profits," said AFT President Randi Weingarten. "Now is the time to reclaim the promise of our healthcare system, end the deprofessionalization of healthcare workers, and put patients above profits."

"Our goal is to work on a national, state and local level to transform the American healthcare system once and for all to deliver the high-quality care that patients deserve, and to ensure that our members have the tools and resources they need to thrive and succeed," said Weingarten.

Weingarten launched the national effort in a speech to attendees. She stressed the need to unite healthcare workers, patients, families and communities to reclaim the promise of high-quality healthcare—to support healthcare systems that are designed to keep people well, not just treat them after they become sick; to ensure that frontline caregivers and staff are well-prepared and supported so they can provide efficient and high-quality patient care; and to ensure that healthcare institutions are at the center of the community, are responsive to the community's needs and provide access to all.

For more information on the AFT's national Reclaiming the Promise initiative, go to


# # # #

The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.