PeaceHealth Hospitalists Vote to Unionize

Photo Credit: Finn Wendt

About 30 hospitalists in Bellingham and Sedro-Woolley won the right to unionize as both PeaceHealth and Sound Physicians employees, after votes cast by the clinicians were counted on Tuesday, June 11.

These clinicians specialize in the general care of hospitalized patients at St. Joseph Medical Center and United General Medical Center, but are directly employed by Sound Physicians, a for-profit national labor management company. It’s an arrangement that the hospitalists said led them to unionize as it curtails their abilities to advocate for patients’ needs in the hospital and creates an environment that is fueling burnout. 

The clinicians accepted the proposal to join the Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD) with 76% of the employees voting in favor. The National Labor Relations Board is expected to certify the result in seven days.