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St. Mary's joins Healthcare Coalition

Jun. 06, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- St. Mary's Medical Center is now a member of the Eastern Kentucky Healthcare Coalition, joining another regional hospital, Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital in Russell, Ky.

The mission of the coalition is to develop a network of health care providers to enhance the health status of area communities in an accountable and responsible manner. Each facility maintains its autonomy while working together on select projects that provide collective efficiencies, improve patient access and prepare for the reforms of the Affordable Care Act.

"St. Mary's Medical Center is very pleased to become a partner with the Eastern Kentucky Healthcare Coalition," St. Mary's Medical Center President and CEO Michael Sellards said in a release. "As we share a similar mission to enhance the health status of our communities, the coalition will provide opportunities for a more seamless delivery of services to our patients."

Highlands Regional Medical Center, Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital, St. Claire Regional Medical Center, St. Mary's Medical Center and UK HealthCare have a combined 1,783 patient care beds, more than 14,400 employees and 1,780 physicians.

Precision Castparts union vote planned

PORTLAND, Ore. -- More than 2,000 local employees of Precision Castparts Corp. are deciding whether to unionize Oregon's only Fortune 500 company besides Nike.

Workers will vote Thursday and Friday in the companies' Portland, Milwaukie and Clackamas plants whether to join the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers. The National Labor Relations Board will supervise the election in a secret ballot covering 12 factories

Employees have complained about mandatory overtime shifts that force them to work weeks at a stretch. Precision, which makes airplane and gas turbine parts, has a $6.8 billion backlog of unfilled orders.

Company executives have repeatedly declined comment on the election, but they oppose the bid to bring a union to Portland-area plants.

The company has hired The Burke Group, a national consultant specializing in anti-union campaigns, and flown in executives from union-staffed subsidiaries -- 22 percent of Precision's 28,500 employees worldwide are organized -- to describe the problems of strikes, work stoppages and concessions.

Precision Castparts also owns the Special Metals operations in Huntington and the Tri-State.

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