Healthcare providers from PeaceHealth vote to unionize

Healthcare providers from four clinics operated by PeaceHealth in the Eugene, Ore., area have voted in favor of unionization.

The vote covers 13 physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants at two urgent care clinics in Eugene, one urgent care clinic in Springfield, Ore., and the walk-in clinic at Woodfield Station in Eugene, according to an Aug. 18 news release from the Oregon Nurses Association that was shared with Becker's. The workers have been organizing for the past year, with guidance from the American Federation of Teachers.

The new group, PeaceHealth Providers United, will partner with the Pacific Northwest Hospital Medicine Association — also a union — and focus on issues such as burnout, staffing, patient care and care access for vulnerable patients.

"This is an important step forward. We came together to support each other to achieve a safe, fair and balanced work environment," Wendy Lang, a nurse practitioner, said in the union release. "We want fair pay and reasonable workloads that allow us to provide high-quality medical care while also maintaining our individual health and well-being."

In a statement shared with Becker's, PeaceHealth said: "We appreciate the respectful manner in which our clinicians considered this issue and one another's point of view. As the process moves forward, our focus remains on what unites us: a deeply held commitment to providing safe, compassionate and high-quality care to our patients and their families. We are also committed to working with each and every one of our caregivers to ensure PeaceHealth is not only the best place to get care but the best place to give care."

The Oregon Nurses Association is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers. PeaceHealth is based in Vancouver, Wash., and has medical centers, critical access hospitals and medical clinics in Washington, Oregon and Alaska.

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