More Providence physicians vote to unionize

A small group of palliative care physicians who work at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Ore., have voted to join the Pacific Northwest Hospital Medicine Association, a hospitalists union represented by AFT Healthcare and serviced by the Oregon Nurses Association.

The four-member team will join more than 70 hospitalists at Providence St. Vincent who voted to join the Pacific Northwest Hospital Medicine Association on Aug.1, according to a union news release. The palliative care physicians voted to unionize Dec.12. 

"As the palliative care physicians of Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, we join with our fellow physician colleagues and recognize that our strength is magnified when we stand together leading with courage and purpose," said Lena Hillenburg, MD, a palliative care physician at Providence St. Vincent, said in a release from the ONA. "Our decision to unite is not taken lightly, and it is a testament to our dedication to the principles that underpin our profession. We call upon Providence to listen, address our concerns and work collaboratively with physicians for the betterment of patient care and the overall health of our medical community."

Renton, Wash.-based Providence, the parent organization of St. Vincent, shared the following statement with Becker's: "Providence respects the rights of our caregivers to organize. We are committed to negotiating in good faith over the terms of a first contract."

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