Health Care Coordinators Hold Inaugural Meeting

Seventeen newly appointed health care coordinators met in Pittsburgh this week to establish their goals and chart the future of the Health Care Council.

Health care is one of the union’s fastest growing sectors, with close to 50,000 members. In recognition of health care’s vital place within the union, delegates at the Constitutional Convention in April unanimously passed a resolution to help serve and grow membership in the industry.

“Health care is an important part of who we are as a union,” said International Vice President Fred Redmond, who oversees bargaining in the health care sector. “And it’s an important part of who we want to continue to be as we look to the future of this ever-evolving organization.”

One of the primary outcomes of the resolution was the creation of the positon of health care coordinator. Each coordinator was selected by his or her district director and will be responsible for facilitating communication between health care locals in their districts.

Together, the coordinators will also form the steering committee of the Health Care Workers Council.

The health care sector faces unique challenges, including geographically disparate locals, amalgamated locals in which the majority of members are not health care workers, and diverse job classifications within units.

“All these years I thought I was alone,” said Cheryl Rheam, a radiographer/mammographer from Local 1940 in Lewistown, Pa. “I was always told there were other health care workers in the union but was never actually introduced to them.”

Debbie Yakscoe, a grievance committee member from Local 10-00086 in Lansdale, Pa., echoed this sentiment. “This committee means there is hope on the horizon that we’re not on an island,” she said.

The coordinators crafted a mission statement, made a strategic plan for fostering communication between locals, and discussed the upcoming Health Care Workers’ Conference, which will take place in the spring.

“My main goal is to get our members involved,” said Daniel Coghill, Vice President of Local 14637 in Hazard, Ky. “And I know there is support if we need help.”

Health Care Coordinators: Tim O’Daniel (D1), Jackie Anklam (D2), Ray White (D3), Judy Danella (D4), Audra Nixon (D6), Nicole Greene (D7), Daniel Coghill (D8), Cheryl Rheam (D10), Debbie Yakscoe (D10), Heather Hill (D11), Louise Curnow (D11)

Designated Staff: Michelle Laurie (D3), Del Vitale (D4), Richard Leblanc (D6), Kim Smith (D9), Cathy Drummond (D11), Dianne Kanish (D12)

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