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Press Releases

New York City Health and Hospitals and Doctors Council SEIU Partner to Improve Care and the Patient Experience

Nov 04, 2015

New York, NY

Doctors Council SEIU and NYC Health and Hospitals announce a groundbreaking forum for cross-collaboration between front line doctors and management that seeks to take hospital quality improvement to the next level in the nation’s largest public hospital system.

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A three-day training (November 4-6) to launch a new system-wide Collaboration Council begins today with hospital management and doctors at HHC gathering in an unprecedented forum. The Collaboration Councils (both system-wide and at each HHC facility) are an innovation in labor-management relations. The goal of the joint committee is to develop a collaborative approach to improving the quality of healthcare.
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), a leading innovator and driver of results in health and health care improvement worldwide, will work with both management and doctors through the three-day program. Participants will also hear from special guests including Dr. Ben Chu, MD, MPH, MACP, Executive Vice President, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals (and former President of HHC as well as past chair of the American Hospital 2 Association Board of Trustees) on timely health care industry trends and changes on the horizon.
Dr. Chu and Dr. Ross Wilson, HHC Chief Medical Officer, will address participants on the evening of Wednesday, November 4. The three-day training will culminate in the first official meeting of the system-wide Collaboration Council on Friday, November 6.


The municipal hospital system plays a vital role providing care for 45% of the city’s uninsured and treating 1.4 million patients per year.
“Front-line clinicians are increasingly vocal advocates for quality improvements and engagement in hospital decision-making to improve care. The Collaboration Councils provide a productive environment for problem-solving and a platform for demonstration projects, with a specific focus on the changing healthcare landscape, healthcare reform and quality measures,” said Frank Proscia, MD, President, Doctors Council SEIU. “The dedicated doctors in the public hospital system look forward to working with management to lead change together, specifically related to improving quality patient care in New York City’s safety net hospitals.”
The implementation of the Collaboration Councils puts into practice the vision of the Doctors Council White Paper, published in partnership with Cornell University, “Putting Patients First Through Doctor, Patient and Community Engagement: A Call to Action from Doctors Council SEIU to the Mayor and the Leadership of HHC.”
“We are keenly attuned to the culturally diverse needs of patients in the City public health system. Offering excellent patient experience is key to the success of our hospitals, and since our physicians are so reflective of the diverse patients we serve, their input is important to our success,” said Dr. Ram Raju, President of New York Health and Hospitals. “That is why we are pleased to be part of the Collaboration Councils and the effort to jointly work with doctors to improve patient experience.”
Mary Kay Henry, International President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which has more than two million members, half of which are in healthcare, said, “SEIU nurses, doctors and healthcare workers are helping to drive quality improvement projects in hospitals across the country to transform care delivery and foster healthier communities. This partnership between Doctor’s Council SEIU and HCC presents an invaluable opportunity to take that work to a whole new level, and is a win-win for the women and men working on the front lines of our healthcare system and their patients.”
David Lipsky, Scheinman Institute Director and the Anne Estabrook Professor on Conflict Resolution at Cornell University, sees the Collaboration Councils between HHC and its frontline clinicians represented by Doctors Council SEIU as the result of collective bargaining and as a valuable breakthrough to be supported and studied by all practitioners in health care and in labor relations more broadly.
“The work of the joint labor-management Collaboration Councils is to achieve measureable and sustainable improvement in the quality, safety and overall patient experience, the key levers in improving population health and reducing cost,” said Professor Lipsky.
“We need more efforts such as this,” he added. “We know that collective bargaining can advance the interests of all parties and directly benefit the community that the parties serve. Cornell University is proud to bring experience and an enormous body of research to support this effort.”


IHI will work with both management and doctors through the three-day program called “Improvement Science in Action.” This intensive professional development program is designed for people involved in health care improvement projects and provides grounding in the concepts, tools and methods needed to effectively drive improvement initiatives.
“Improvement Science in Action helps hospitals and physicians shift their thinking, enabling them to improve care delivery and enhance patient experiences,” said Maureen Bisognano, President and CEO, IHI. “As a result of this program, participants will be better able to plan and execute improvement projects that are both successful and sustainable.”
A core part of the training serves to help participants understand the care experience from the patient’s view and by actively listening to patients and families. Some of the techniques to be explored include putting oneself in the patient’s shoes, for example, by moving through a medical facility in the way that a patient is expected to do; this might include sitting in a waiting room with a patient and his or her family.

Contact: Karen Imas, 212-437-7373, Connelly, McLaughlin & Woloz
Ian Michaels, 212-788-3339, NYC Health and Hospitals

About Doctors Council SEIU

Doctors Council SEIU, a professional organization for doctors, is the nation’s oldest and largest union of attending physicians and dentists in the United States, with members in New York City, and in states across the country, including in Illinois. Formed in 1973, Doctors Council SEIU is a union for doctors and a voice for patients, and represents attending physicians and dentists at Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) facilities and hospitals, including doctors employed by the affiliates New York University School of Medicine, the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the Physician Affiliate Group of New York (PAGNY). HHC is the largest public hospital system in the nation. Doctors Council SEIU also represents doctors in the New York City Mayoral agencies including the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) as well as doctors working at Rikers Island, the largest correctional facility in the nation. Doctors Council SEIU also represents the attending physicians, dentists and psychologists at the Cook County Health and Hospitals System (CCHHS), the public hospital system of Chicago. Affiliated with SEIU, Doctors Council SEIU is a national union representing doctors employed in the public and private sectors.

About NYC Health + Hospitals

The NYC Health + Hospitals health care system is a $6.7 billion integrated healthcare delivery system, the largest municipal healthcare organization in the country, and one of the New York area’s largest providers of government-sponsored health insurance, MetroPlusHealth Health Plan, the plan of choice for nearly half a million New Yorkers. The NYC Health + Hospitals health care system serves 1.4 million New Yorkers every year and more than 475,000 are uninsured. The system provides medical, mental health and substance abuse services through its 11 acute care hospitals, five skilled nursing facilities, six large diagnostic and treatment centers and more than 70 community based clinics. NYC Health + Hospitals/Home Care also provides in-home services for New Yorkers. The NYC Health + Hospitals system was the 2008 recipient of the National Quality Forum and The Joint Commission’s John M. Eisenberg Award for Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality. For more information,Visit nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected: https://www.facebook.com/NYCHealthSystem or Twitter @NYCHealthSystem.