Nurses Lisa Schavrien and Erin Ainslie Smith wished their sufferers’ voices to be heard on Election Day, even when they had been unable to bodily depart the hospital. So the 2 Lenox Hill nurses, together with a 20-person volunteer group, got here collectively to assist sufferers forged their vote this previous Tuesday, in response to the New York Put up.
The volunteers headed into New York’s 5 boroughs to submit the purposes, retrieve ballots, and convey them again to the hospital. After distributing the ballots, the volunteer group ran again to the boroughs to submit sufferers’ votes earlier than the polls closed.
“Often, it is on the sufferers to get the ballots on the board, go to the hospital to fill them out, then again to the board on Election Day,” Ainslie instructed INSIDER. “Plenty of sufferers could not try this leg work or get a good friend or member of the family to do it for them, so I assumed it might be good to assist out ourselves.”
Ainslie and Schavrien first bought the concept to assist with voting again in 2016. On the time, certainly one of Schavrien’s sufferers requested assist casting her vote and the nurse obliged. Earlier than that, the hospital solely supplied purposes for absentee ballots.
For the 2018 normal election, the duo collaborated to submit over 40 ballots on behalf of Lenox Hill sufferers.
Lots of the sufferers Ainslie and Schavrien helped had been admitted to the hospital last-minute and figured they must sit this election out attributable to unexpected circumstances. Some, like a girl having mind surgical procedure scheduled on Election Day, had been merely unable to go away.
“Lisa defined this system to her and the girl stated ‘I am not letting them minimize me open till I get my poll,'” Ainslie instructed INSIDER. “She was so joyful to listen to about what we had been doing.”
The volunteers additionally helped ladies in labor and an aged couple who needed to keep within the hospital on Election Day.
At present, one of the simplest ways to vote in case you are unexpectedly hospitalized is thru emergency medical absentee voting. Nonetheless, Ainslie and Schavrien are hoping their program conjures up different hospitals to create related initiatives and that the Lenox Hill program grows.
“For 2020, we wish to get 200 ballots in from sufferers,” says Ainslie. “We wish to assist much more.”
Go to INSIDER’s homepage for extra.