In honor of Nurses Week (May 6-12) we are featuring Local 400 members who serve our communities every day as nurses. Thank you for all that you do to heal the sick, comfort the afflicted, and save lives!

Sara Lane Grothe

Surgery can be a scary thing for many people. But thanks to the pioneering work of Local 400 member Sara Lane Grothe, Kaiser Permanente patients can rest assured that they will only face surgery if it is absolutely necessary, and that they will receive the best possible care, that risks will be minimized, and that positive outcomes will be maximized.

A Kaiser Permanente nurse for 25 years, Grothe has been serving Kaiser members at the Kensington location in the Preoperative Evaluation and Education Clinic (PEEC) for the past decade.

In the PEEC, Grothe is responsible for doing pre-surgical testing and making sure the patients fit the guidelines for surgeries.

“We educate and interview the members, do chart reviews, and testing to be sure that member is aware of the surgery and double checking to make sure they are a optimal candidate,” said Grothe.

Grothe consults with the anesthesia department to cross check with the nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and clinical assistants that her patient has also been seen by all of them.

“We always check and double check that several people within the anesthesia department have seen the patient for pre-op physicals,” said Grothe. “And with the use of the new HealthConnect technology, it’s easy to track the outcomes of tests and monitor changes in the member; if the member goes to an affiliated hospital, the hospital can even review using a limited version of HealthConnect.”

As longtime Local 400 member, Grothe has always been a big advocate for labor and helping her coworkers understand their rights in the workplace.

“I’m always looking out for other union members and their voice on the job, especially when interacting with managers,” said Grothe. “A lot of the time managers are foreign to unions and what it means to have a union contract.”

In the past few years, Kaiser Permanente has been implementing changes and expanding its reach to communities by opening new locations in Capitol Hill, Largo, South Baltimore, Gaithersburg and Tyson’s Corner.

“With things changing so quickly, the union is helping keep everything in order by maintaining our job security and making sure the contracts are still being enforced,” Grothe said.