St. Peter's CEO apologizes after nurses' information leaked

St. Peter's Health in Helena, Mont., has ended its contract with a union consultant after an internal leak of nurses' personal information, the Daily Montanan reported Oct. 3. 

The health system, in a statement shared with Becker's on Oct. 4, described the incident last week as one "where a document containing sensitive information became accessible beyond the intended recipients. It is our responsibility to safeguard the privacy and well-being of our employees, and as such, we take full responsibility for this incident occurring."

According to the Daily Montanan, St. Peter's hired the union consultant, Edward Niles Commer, who is commonly referred to as Niles Commer, after nurses at St. Peter's Medical Group, both the Broadway Clinic and the North Clinic, filed with the National Labor Relations Board on Sept. 1 to hold an election to vote to join the Montana Nurses Association.

St. Peter's confirmed it is no longer working with any third-party consultants, but said "the more important issue is that this incident was inconsistent with our values." The organization is conducting an internal investigation and said it will "respond as appropriate based on the findings."

St. Peter's Health CEO Wade Johnson also apologized in an email obtained by the Daily Montanan and received by nurses after the document was found. 

"I feel the approach and content contained in the document our consultants created is completely unacceptable," Mr. Johnson said in the email, according to the newspaper. He said he will continue to address the issue.

"I want you to know that we care more about our relationship with you than whether or not you choose to be part of a union," he told nurses.

On Sept. 27, watchdog nonprofit LaborLab filed a labor complaint alleging that Mr. Commer, "acting as an anti-union persuader consultant, initiated direct meetings with RNs at St. Peter's Medical Group with the aim of dissuading them from pursuing their unionization efforts." He is accused of failing to comply with financial disclosure rules outlined in the Labor Management Relations and Disclosure Act.

St. Peter's Health, in a statement shared with NBC affiliate KTVH, denies any violation has occurred under the Labor Management Relations and Disclosure Act related to the hiring of Mr. Commer. The nurses have asked St. Peter's Health to "invest in nurses, not consultants," according to a union news release shared with Becker's.

Becker's is attempting to reach Mr. Commer and will update the story if more information is available.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars