Guardian Nurses: Giving members the tools to face life-changing challenges

Guardian Nurses Healthcare Advocates Logo

By Todd Farally


When you or a loved one is facing a medical emergency, navigating our complex healthcare system should be the least of your worries. That’s why Local 19 is pleased to partner with the Guardian Nurses Healthcare Advocates, an organization that provides members and their dependents free guidance on the next steps to getting the care you need.


For Frank Boyle, 67, of Bensalem, his Guardian nurse has helped with doctors appointments, getting him services, and helping him navigate the healthcare system since the day he passed out unexpectedly while walking a picket line.

“I was on a picket line and walked over to a port-a-john, next thing I blacked out and landed face-first into a pile of rocks,” recalled Frank, who has been a Local 19 member since 1997. Frank was hospitalized and diagnosed with a serious heart condition.


“My Guardian nurse was hired through the hall. She gets me appointments, she got me a CPAP (breathing) machine, she goes to the doctor’s with me, just about anything I need. I call her up and she gets it done,” he said. “She’s a very nice woman. I like her very much, and so does my wife. If my wife can’t go to an appointment, she’s right  there. It’s a very good benefit. They’re wonderful.”


Inspired by the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, Guardian Nurses specializes in helping people recover from often catastrophic injuries. Since its founding five years ago, Guardian Nurses’ Mobile Care Coordinator program has provided home visits and extensive physical therapy services for its patients, making sure they get the best care possible. Guardian Nurses staff also help patients navigate the often complex medical system to access important services. From navigating the labyrinth of doctors, hospitals, insurance, physical therapy, nursing homes, and equipment supplies that can come with serious injury or illness, your nurse advocate is there for you every step of the way.


“Since 2010, we’ve been supporting the members and families of Local 19 and many of our nurses have become part of the extended union family,” said Betty Long, RN, MHA President/CEO of Guardian Nurses Healthcare Advocates. “We have attended union meetings, apprentice trainings, picnics, candidate events, retiree lunches, even sadly, members’ funerals.”


People who are sick or injured often feel ill-equipped to deal with the healthcare system. A Guardian Nurse Advocate is an expert who guides members through the system, making sure they understand their options and get the best care.


“Gary Masino and his leadership team recognized very early on just how important it was to make sure their members got the help they needed in the healthcare system and they helped spread the word about Guardian Nurses,” said Long. “Helping someone through a new cancer diagnosis, or making sure that a member’s child is getting the healthcare they deserve, or just getting someone an expedited appointment is what we do every day, and we love it.”


“It’s about really holding the members’ hand and the family’s hand and leading them through the healthcare system so that they don’t have to worry about the finances,” said Guardian Nurses Vice President Robin Sambuco, RN, BSN. “I really think Local 19 does a great job of helping all of their members.” 


Local 19 is not just a union – we’re a family. We’re proud to offer great health benefits to our members and their families. The Guardian Nurses is one more way members can receive support during difficult times.

For more information or to contact Guardian Nurses, visit or call 215-836-0260.