Legacy Health physicians vote to unionize

Physicians at six Legacy Health hospitals in Oregon and Washington have voted to unionize.

The hospital physicians, or hospitalists, voted in an election Nov. 14-16, according to a union news release shared with Becker's. The National Labor Relations Board certified the results on Nov. 17.

With the vote, about 200 hospitalists at Good Samaritan Medical Center and Emanuel Medical Center, both in Portland, Ore., Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel, Meridian Park Medical Center in Tualatin, Ore., Mount Hood Medical Center in Gresham, Ore., and Salmon Creek Medical Center in Vancouver, Wash., will join the Pacific Northwest Hospital Medicine Association, according to the release. The PNWHMA is a physician and advanced practice provider union represented by the American Federation of Teachers and staffed by the Oregon Nurses Association.

"We're caring for more people who are sicker than ever before. We need more staff to give our patients the time and attention they need," Eric Seymour, MD, a pediatric hospitalist at Randall Children's Hospital, said in the release. "Hospital administrators aren't at the bedside to see the problems and aren't listening to providers' solutions. We voted to unionize so the people caring for you can advocate for you and your family. We need a seat at the table to ensure we have the staff, tools and support we need to properly care for our patients."

Portland, Ore.-based Legacy shared the following statement with the Lund Report: "Legacy Health respects the rights of our employees to choose whether or not to be represented by a union, and we appreciate the continued hard work and dedication of our hospitalists, who play a vital role in delivering high-quality care to our patients and communities. We are committed to establishing a productive dialogue with the union representatives that will be working with Legacy on behalf of these providers."

Legacy operates eight hospitals and about 70 clinics in Oregon and Washington.

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