Finkenauer Discusses Independence MHI Attack on House Floor

An attack last year at the Independence Mental Health Institute was discussed on a national level this past week.

On Thursday, Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer shared the story of Tina Suckow during a floor speech to the U.S. House of Representatives. Finkenauer was speaking in favor of House Resoluation 1309, the Workplace Violation Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act.

Suckow was badly injured during a 2018 incident where she and her co-workers were trying to subdue an agitated patient. The patient hit Suckow repeatedly, causing neurological damage and injuring her knee and shoulder. She is still physically unable to return to work and the State of Iowa kicked her off the payroll, resulting in the loss of her health insurance.

Finkenauer says this bill would require the U.S. Department of Labor to address workplace violence in health care and social service sectors. It would also require certain employers to investigate workplace violence incidents, risks or hazards as soon as possible; provide training and education to employees who may be exposed to workplace violence hazards and risks; meet record keeping requirements; and prohibit acts of discrimination or retaliation against employees for reporting workplace violence incidents, threats or concerns.

Finkenauer co-sponsored and voted for the bill, which passed 251 to 158 on Friday.