Kaiser therapists win fight for more reception support

NewsMarch 14, 2024

In Kaiser’s Sacramento region, therapists aren’t just successfully advocating for themselves, they’re advocating for their support staff.

At clinics in Sacramento, Folsom and Roseville, Kaiser had stopped providing consistent reception and frontline support. That didn’t sit well with therapists who understand that having support staff on hand can help patients who might be anxious about their visit to the clinic.

In a November 6 letter to Kaiser officials, signed by 50 of the 51 child psychiatric providers in the clinics, therapists called on Kaiser to properly staff reception.

“One of Kaiser’s core tenets… is to provide exceptional care to our members at each point of entry, every time,” they wrote. “When we do not have consistent reception coverage, our members suffer.”

Management agreed to meet in January to hear directly from NUHW members about inconsistent reception staffing. Following a second meeting in February, Area Director Kristy Schwee said Kaiser planned to have reception from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at all three clinics and would meet with representatives from the receptionist’s union to implement it.

“The open letter was a huge success in allowing us to express and voice our concerns,” said Melissa Geiszler, an LMFT. “These voiced concerns helped to obtain more consistent reception coverage across North Valley clinics. NUHW providers, Kaiser management, and union organizers all worked to support the effort that led to these positive changes that support the work we do with patients everyday.”