Issue 22 - Swedish CEO Dr. Rod Hochman Outlines Vision for Future

Issue 22 - Swedish CEO Dr. Rod Hochman Outlines Vision for Future

Dr. Hochman joined Swedish management and SEIU yesterday morning at the negotiation table to address the recent announcement that the organization is pursuing a strategic affiliation with Providence Health and Services. After providing an overview of how this affiliation will improve health care quality, access and affordability for the residents of Western Washington, he answered a number of questions from union leadership and members of the bargaining unit.

Dr. Hochman emphasized several areas of the agreement including the fact that Swedish will retain its non-religious roots, that it will retain local control, including its relations with labor, and throughout the process will commit to the highest level of transparency with SEIU.

“We want to create the best healthcare delivery system in Western Washington,” Hochman explained, “and this partnership represents a local solution to a national problem and could become a national model on how to fix healthcare.”

Dr. Hochman noted the benefits of joining forces with Providence because of the shared mission of both organizations who already provide a staggering $205 million per year in uncompensated care and other community-benefit activities for Western Washington.

“Imagine how much more we can do – and how many more lives we can improve – by working together,” Hochman added.

Dr. Hochman underscored the fact that the affiliation is currently in the regulatory review stage and there are still many details to work out, and encouraged the parties to remain focused on reaching an agreement that will ensure the long term sustainability of Swedish since the union and Swedish have a shared and mutual interest in that goal.

More information and updates are available online at


Discussions Continue with Multiple Tentative Agreements Reached


Today SEIU and Swedish Management came to agreement on a number of non-economic areas and continued to discuss several issues including overtime rules, floating practices, dependability policies, a patient lift-team pilot program, committee roles and responsibilities, certifications, sonographer and callbacks. Tentative agreements were reached on discipline and discharge, a number of letters of understandings, oversight committee, call back relief, work on holidays, and Patient Lifting Education and Assistance Team (LEAT) pilot program.

The LEAT Tentative Agreement is an exciting new pilot program that will be mutually beneficial and speaks to the collaborative nature of the progress that has been made between SEIU members and Swedish management.

Upcoming Meetings

Today marks the final scheduled negotiation prior to mediation. Next week SEIU and Swedish Management begin mediation with Larry Fox to further discuss the economic portion of the contract. During mediation there will be no Negotiation News. At the conclusion of mediation, we will send the next edition providing an overview of what was accomplished.


Questions or Comments?

Thank you for the emails and comments we have received. We appreciate hearing from you. Please feel free to submit questions or feedback to or here at

I am a long-time user of your services, but now I must reconsider. I would be happy to be proven wrong, but here’s how I see your decision to stop performing elective abortions: Swedish has more regard for its financial partner than for its patients. Surely this isn’t your definition of top-notch health care. And, no, referring women to some off site, out-of-sight, out-of-mind location does not constitute respectful health care equity; don’t try to fool yourselves there. I am sorely disappointed at your decision. If your actions on providing elective abortions at Swedish facilities are being misrepresented in the media, I’d be very happy to have that cleared up. Hopefully -
10/18/2011 1:38:56 PM
Doctor Hochman has been on the providence board since 2008, How long has Providence been planning the take over?
10/18/2011 2:01:22 AM
Interesting. We are just an affiliation of Providence and will not become Catholic but Swedish will no longer perform abortions?!! They are heart wrenching decisions for mothers. We have a huge mother and baby service here and I believe difficult pregnancies, so why has Swedish made this decision if it is remaining non-religeous?
10/17/2011 10:51:32 AM
Shirley Nelsen
I just heard on NPR the news regarding your policy (human services) change regarding abortions. I do not agree with this decision. Yes, I heard that you will refer to another source. Not good.

Equally significant, is my long term relationship with my Swedish doctors, who fully understand MY wishes, and MY values, about end of life care for myself. NOT the values of the Catholic church, that is for sure. Not the values of the staff. MY WISHES. I know exactly how it works. I am an RN with over 50 years of work experience. Having been a negotiator for UWMC for 10 years or so, I do have an understanding of how you might have reached this decision. But Swedish is not imposing the values of a religion on my health care. Not ok. And, yes, it does make a diference.

I have already spoken with 13 friends in my UW retirement association, and we will all probably leave, and go to Group Health or UWMC. This will be heart wrenching, to leave my fine doctors who
know me very well over the past almost 20 years.
Shirley Nelsen
10/14/2011 3:47:22 PM
I heard final details
i"...t is too early to answer that at this point as we are still very early in the process but as we work through the details we will keep our employees updated. "

I attended a meeting and heard a number of finalized details for our department:
No one was going to lose their job.
We would not be required to re-apply for our jobs.
Current work will not be out-sourced.
We will be moving to Renton.
10/14/2011 3:11:21 PM
Melissa Tizon
Hello. Thank you for your comments. I’m the communications director for Swedish and wanted to respond to your questions. In terms of what this means for our board, when the affiliation is finalized, we will create a new community board to oversee the new Western Washington health system. In addition, Swedish will have representation on the overall Providence board, which governs all Providence operations across five states. Regarding your question about changes in management or staff, it is too early to answer that at this point as we are still very early in the process but as we work through the details we will keep our employees updated.
10/13/2011 6:05:19 PM
It is stated that this is an affliation so what does this mean for the board ? I have heard that Providence will have 10 members, Swedish only 5! That looks like a take over?

"Once the transaction is final; we will create the new structure for the new system that will be a part of the affiliation." - What does this mean? Change in management and or staff?

"over time, we do expect to consolidate some services. However, we do not know in what areas or when that will happen. One of the goals of this affiliation is to reduce cost and more efficiently share services across the two organizations, so we will look for opportunities that will make the most positive impact on the quality, safety, cost and experience of our patients." - So there is a high chance of layoffs?
10/11/2011 9:58:15 AM
Leave comment

 Security code