The CEO of Kodiak Island Providence Medical Center, Kodiak’s only hospital, has announced plans to resign.
After having worked as an administrator responsible for PKIMC, and for a couple years overseeing Providence Chiniak Bay Elder House and Providence Kodiak Island Counseling Center, she will end her eight-year tenure on July 6.
Her departure occurs three months after year-long negotiations between Providence and Alaska Medical Employees Association, the union representing the hospital’s employees, finally ended with a tentative agreement allowing employees to keep their sick leave.
The agreement was reached just days before the union planned to strike, and two days after Providence announced it would pursue legal action against the union to prevent a strike if the union chose to move forward with it.
In the past, allegations had also been made against the hospital by another union affiliated with AMEA, Alaska Teamsters Local 959, which filed an unfair labor practice charge against the hospital with the National Labor Relations Board in August 2019. They claimed that PKIMC had been engaging in bad-faith bargaining by refusing to change proposals on vacation and sick leave.
During the strike, Bishop had a contentious relationship with employees. She wrote in a letter to the editor in the Kodiak Daily Mirror that the union was “demonstrating a lack of concern for the public health and the well-being of our community,” and that the union’s actions were “highly irresponsible.”
Several hospital employees responded with another letter to the editor stating that Providence’s actions were “morally indefensible,” and that “Ms. Bishop’s letter might leave a reader with the impression that we have not tried everything we possibly can to avoid this result … The union was optimistic that more than a year of failed negotiations was about to come to an end. “
A memo to hospital staff from the CEO of Providence Health and Services Alaska said that Bishop, during her tenure, “partnered with the University of Alaska Anchorage to establish a Bachelor of Science in nursing program in Kodiak, and with the fishing industry in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. She also worked to expand therapies and specialty services for the benefit of the Kodiak Community.”
The hospital said it will announce an interim director when that information becomes available.