New Alliance Unites Caregivers and Hospital Management Shared Goals Include Improving Quality of Patient Care, Expanding Training

Opportunities, and Increasing State and Federal Funding



    HYANNIS, Mass., Aug. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Cape Cod Healthcare and the
 largest healthcare union on the East Coast are pleased to announce a new
 alliance today that marks the very first labor-management partnership in
 the healthcare industry in Massachusetts. The partnership will focus
 strategically on the growing challenges facing the industry, including
 improving overall quality of care for patients, increasing state and
 federal funding sources, and recruiting, training, and retaining the most
 qualified workforce at Cape Cod Healthcare, Cape Cod's largest employer.
     Citing the need for united and comprehensive efforts as the healthcare
 industry faces critical hurdles such as staffing shortages in key
 positions, the expanding role of new technology in improving patient care,
 and a growing demand for services from an aging baby-boomer population --
 Steven L. Abbott, President and CEO of Cape Cod Healthcare said, "Our
 vision is to be the health service provider of choice for all Cape Cod
 residents and visitors, as well as the employer of choice on Cape Cod. This
 landmark alliance will help us continue to meet the highest standards in
 health care delivery and service quality."
     Cape Cod Healthcare and 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East
 announced the terms of a new contract in March of this year that was
 unprecedented, both for its "interest-based" bargaining approach, and for
 the professional benefits and terms of the contract -- including fully paid
 health insurance coverage. The bargaining process began with a joint
 commitment to strengthening patient care through more collaborative
 efforts, which in turn led to the formation of the "Cape Cod Healthcare
 Alliance."
     In interest-based negotiations, both parties focus on shared interests
 and outcomes, and agree upon the criteria for proposed solutions. This is
 in contrast to traditional collective bargaining negotiations, in which
 each party sets separate goals and objectives. The bargaining committee met
 for over six months and was composed of administrative, professional and
 technical health care workers and Cape Cod Healthcare management.
     "It's about the future of our patients here and our professional
 futures. It only makes sense that we make these decisions together," said
 Maria Juliani, a physical therapist at Cape Cod Hospital and an elected
 representative of the 10-member alliance committee composed of health care
 workers and hospital management.
     "What they've done on the Cape is very rare, but it's a promising
 formula to improve the quality of patient care. In California, the
 strategic alliance between Kaiser and SEIU have led to dramatic
 improvements in patient outcomes," said Tom Kochan, a professor and
 co-director of MIT's Center for Work and Employment Research at the Sloan
 School of Management.
     Shared goals of the Cape Cod Healthcare Alliance include:
     * To increase continuity of care and patient satisfaction by creating an
       expanded joint-management training program, as well as tailored career
       counseling;
     * To address system-wide workforce needs and to create recruitment
       initiatives to meet those needs;
     * To create a process for workers to pursue professional opportunities
       within all Cape Cod Healthcare entities, allowing them to bring
       expertise and experience to new sites.
     "Through this partnership, our members have created even more
 opportunities to both improve the lives of patients and improve the lives
 of healthcare workers throughout the Cape. The possibilities are limitless
 to be more creative and effective in our approach to solving the tremendous
 challenges facing hospitals today," said Mike Fadel, Executive Vice
 President of 1199SEIU. There are over 2,000 1199SEIU members who work in
 professional and technical positions within the Cape Cod Healthcare system
 at Cape Cod Hospital, Cape Cod Human Services, Falmouth Hospital, and
 C-Lab, the largest clinical laboratory on Cape Cod.
     The specific goals and objectives of the Cape Cod Healthcare Alliance
 will be jointly determined through a series of meetings over the next six
 months, and health care workers will have a voice in operations -- from
 budgeting to staffing to marketing decisions. "This partnership was
 designed to develop an environment and a relationship built on principles
 of collaboration, inclusion and a mutual trust to make sure our patients
 get the best care on the Cape," said Michael Foley, Chief Negotiator, Cape
 Cod Healthcare.
     Cape Cod Healthcare is the leading provider of healthcare services for
 residents and visitors of Cape Cod. With more than 400 physicians and 4,000
 employees, Cape Cod Healthcare has two-acute care hospitals, the largest
 home health services agency on the Cape (VNA), skilled nursing and
 rehabilitation facilities, an assisted living facility and numerous health
 programs. For more information, visit Cape Cod Healthcare's web site at
 http://www.capecodhealth.org.
     1199SEIU (http://www.1199seiu.org) represents more than 275,000 members
 and retirees in New York, Maryland, the District of Columbia and
 Massachusetts. 1199SEIU's mission is to improve and expand quality,
 affordable patient care, to protect and improve the lives of our members
 and our families, and to work in solidarity with working people in our
 communities and around the world.
 
 

SOURCE 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East

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