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Tim Lillard at the home he and his late wife, Ann Picha-Lillard, shared in suburban southeast Michigan. Since her death in 2022, Lillard has made it his mission to pass the Safe Patient Care Act, which would create mandatory nurse-to-patient ratios in Michigan hospitals. Beth Weiler/Michigan Public hide caption

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Beth Weiler/Michigan Public

After his wife died, he joined nurses to push for new staffing rules in hospitals

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Nurses hold signs outside Manhattan's Mount Sinai Hospital on Monday, the first day of their strike. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images hide caption

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Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

NYC nurses are on strike, but the problems they face are seen nationwide

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Hospitals around the U.S., including large academic medical centers like Vanderbilt University's in Nashville, Tenn., have been forced to rely on traveling nurses to keep their intensive care units fully staffed. The demand for travel nurses has driven up their hourly rates, which then motivates more staff nurses to leave in pursuit of a traveling gig. Blake Farmer/WPLN hide caption

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Blake Farmer/WPLN