CANTON, Mass – The Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United (MNA/NNU), the state’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses and health care professionals, announces its endorsement and strong support for Natalie Higgins, Democratic candidate for the 4th Worcester District.
“Like registered nurses across Massachusetts, Natalie Higgins has committed herself to fighting for those who need help the most,” said MNA President Donna Kelly-Williams, who works as an obstetrical and neonatal nurse at Cambridge Hospital. “I am confident Higgins’ years of experience working with teens in crisis, the elderly and public school students will give her a strong and compassionate voice on Beacon Hill.”
Higgins is running for the Leominster House seat that incumbent Rep. Dennis Rosa has announced he will not seek this fall. She is an attorney and executive director of the Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts, or PHENOM, a nonprofit that advocates for better funding, more affordability and accessibility for students, and better support for our faculty and staff in public higher education institutions.
A 2006 graduate of Leominster High School, Higgins obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from UMass Amherst, earned her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law and was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 2014.
She has worked for the last ten years as a community advocate, first as a Rape Crisis Center Teen Counselor/Community Educator throughout Central Massachusetts. As a law student she worked in Governor Patrick’s Office, the Worcester Juvenile Court, Community Legal Aid’s Elder Law Unit, and with the Reproductive Justice Unit of the Human Rights Law Network in New Delhi, India.
As a State Representative, Higgins will defend public education, increase access to mental health services and create economic development opportunities as State Representative. She also supports a wide range of MNA issues, from enacting safe patient limits for nurses in all hospital units to protecting health care professionals from workplace violence.
“The best way to find solutions to problems plaguing our health care system is to listen to the workers,” Higgins said. “The daily challenges that nurses and other clinicians encounter at health care facilities across this state drive their legislative priorities. I look forward to working with them to secure lasting improvements.”
Natalie M. Pereira RN, Chairperson of the MNA bargaining unit at Leominster Hospital, said Higgins is exactly the type of person nurses want and need in the Massachusetts legislature.
“The Registered Nurses at HealthAlliance Leominster Hospital are staunch advocates for our profession and our patients,” Pereira said. “Natalie shares our values around patient safety and quality care. That’s why she earned the endorsement of the Massachusetts Nurses Association. She’s got the experience to do a great job and she’ll be an accessible elected official who truly listens to what’s important to the people in Leominster and will be our voice on Beacon Hill.”
Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United is the largest professional health care organization and the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its 23,000 members advance the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Legislature and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public. The MNA is a founding member of National Nurses United, the largest national nurses’ union in the United States with more than 170,000 members from coast to coast.