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Gov. Whitmer joins U-M Health leaders and nurses, signs bipartisan bills protecting Michigan healthcare workers

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined healthcare leaders from Michigan Medicine, Sparrow Health System, and University of Michigan Health-West to sign bipartisan House Bills 4520 and 4521. This landmark legislation aims to increase safety measures for Michigan healthcare workers and incentivize more individuals to join the healthcare workforce.

At the bill signing event Wednesday, Dec. 6 at Sparrow Health System in Lansing, Gov. Whitmer highlighted the need to support frontline healthcare workers.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to the doctors, nurses, and health care workers who routinely step up to protect our communities and save lives,” said Gov. Whitmer.” Unfortunately, health care workers face rising rates of bullying, viciousness, and violence. These bills will protect health care workers and help Michiganders in the industry, as well as those who are considering a career in health care, know that the state of Michigan has their back. Let’s keep working together to build a Michigan where we treat each other with the kindness, dignity, and respect we all deserve.”

House Bill 4520, sponsored by State Rep. Mike Mueller (R-Linden), increases penalties for assaults on health professionals or medical volunteers while on duty, without the use of a weapon. Complementing this measure, House Bill 4521, sponsored by State Rep. Kelly Breen (D-Novi), heightens penalties for assaults on healthcare workers using a weapon while on duty. Both bills mandate health facility operators to display signage outlining the enhanced fines prescribed under these legislative acts.

In attendance at the bill signing were several UM Health-West nursing and security team members, including Melissa Barck, nurse manager; Shawn Bolen, nurse coordinator; Kari Kloosterman, director of emergency department; Mandi Schoolmeester, clinical nurse specialist; and Gary Gorski, director of security.