Press Release: Physicians Employed by Rehoboth McKinley Form Union

CONTACT:  Sue Wilson, 510-926-0408, communications@uapd.com

Gallup, New Mexico — The employed physicians of Rehoboth McKinley Christian Healthcare Services (RMCHCS) are proud to announce that they have decided to form a union in partnership with the Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD). The physicians submitted their signed union authorization cards to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) this morning, and are asking their employer to recognize the new union based on those signatures.    

The physician organizing committee also issued the following public statement: 

“We have decided to unionize for one reason: to protect and improve the lives of our patients, without fear of reprisal for speaking up on their behalf.” 

“We believe our local hospital must be led by those who live and work here in McKinley County and understand the community here. That is how we can be responsive to the needs of our patients. We are worried sick about the growing lack of transparency and the difficulty in retaining quality doctors, nurses, and other colleagues, and we seek to heal these woes. We must be heard.”

In 2020 management of the hospital was outsourced to Community Hospital Corporation (CHC), a Plano, Texas-based organization which seeks out “short- or long-term business relationships with healthcare organizations” in rural areas.

RMCHCS is centered around a 60-bed, acute care hospital that employs about 30 physicians and mid-level providers. The non-profit hospital has cared for community members since the early 1900s, including the Native Americans who live on the Navajo and Zuni reservations that surround the city of Gallup. The region has been one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 8, 2020, RMCHCS physicians publicly protested staffing shortages at RMCHS that compromised their ability to care for patients with COVID-19. 

The Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD) is the largest union representing fully-licensed doctors in the United States. Interest in unionization is growing among physicians who are looking for a greater voice in their workplaces and the healthcare system.