My name is Shelbie Stromyer and I am running for the Senatorial District 21. I have spent most of my adult life working as an RN. I graduated from Gannon University in 1989 with my ADN and in 2002 completed my BSN at Clarion University prior to that I worked as a nursing assistant at Franklin Hospital and at a local nursing home.
My family background is a normal one. No family business to get me started or pay for college just working 2 jobs to get through my Associates’s degree and working and raising a family to get through my BSN. I am a 2020 Emerge Pa participant as well.
For the last 2 years, I have been a volunteer nurse advocate for the Nurses of Pa fighting for Safe Patient Ratios in the hospitals and increase medicare hours in nursing homes speaking locally and in Lancaster. I spoke out about the impact on our community with the pending closures of Polk Center and Whithaveboth at the local hearing and in Harrisburg.
I was contacted in November by the Harrisburg Democratic Committee to run and I spent a lot of time thinking this over. I have already fought my battles and continue to fight the battles for ratios and increase medicare money for nursing homes. I knew women and those with disabilities were losing their right to choose but I was still looking for one reason not to run. I wanted to find one way our present elected official was protecting us in Harrisburg. One reason to not put me and my family out there to be set up to ridicule. The deciding factor was the Frack water (brine) dumping that our elected official was standing behind calling it “saltwater”. As an old oncology nurse of 10 years, I knew what the ramifications would be. Pa is now number 3 in the nation for cancer and number one for thyroid cancer. The primary cause of thyroid cancer is radiation which is in the frack water which contains radium along with other corrosive toxins. I refuse to watch more people become sick. I wanted to step up before our children were affected but I was too late. Childhood cancer has become the number 2 cause of death in our children with auto accidents being no. 1. Autism births have gone from 1/150 births to 1/54 births. This is completely unacceptable.
Young working families are suffering. Because of all the taxes, cost of housing, and food not to mention childcare they are living at or below poverty levels. It should not be this hard. This is occurring in 30% of Pa working households with many of these numbers coming from District 21. Last year we lost 5% of our population to other states and districts in PA.
If we sit back and do nothing we will never be able to get ourselves out of the present mess that we are in. We will never be able to entice business to our beautiful communities. We need a strong voice in Harrisburg protecting our rights. We need transparency which we haven’t had for 30 years, I think I can do this. I am not a groomed politician but a nurse who has spent the last 30 years protecting patients. If we work together, maybe we can find a solution to our present situation, no one person can fix our problems. We need changes that will benefit our communities not cause destruction