Collaboration Council

Our Collaboration Councils, A Deep Source of Pride and Purpose at Doctors Council.

No matter where physicians practice, the core of that practice is the patient-physician relationship.

In today’s world, physicians across the nation are deeply concerned about the erosion of that relationship.  From increased time spent on our computers, to increased panel sizes and workloads, increasingly complex coding requirements, insurance company intervention in our practice as never before experienced, and more and more centralized decision-making about how to manage our practices, physicians everywhere believe that they are losing control of the profession they love.

Our Union, Doctors Council SEIU is a national leader in the promotion of physician voice.  Along with our traditional role in collective bargaining, we have established a unique forum for problem-solving, heightened engagement, and improving that precious physician-patient relationship: The Collaboration Councils.

What is a Council?

A Collaboration Council has been established in each of the 22 facilities that comprise the nations’ largest public health system, NYC Health+Hospitals.  A Collaboration Council has also been established by Doctors Council physicians in Cook County, Illinois.  Each one is made up of top executives and frontline physicians who meet each month. Agendas are established jointly. Minutes are taken and reviewed. 

The Councils have been established as a “safe space for open dialogue” which foster discussion and problem solving in the following areas:

Pebbles in our Shoes

Business Literacy

Frontline-driven improvement

Quality improvement education

Physician wellness

Leadership development

How did it originate?

In 2013, the leadership of Doctors Council surveyed its membership about what union members wanted the Union to prioritize.  The results of that survey were and remain central to the work of the Union.

Based on the results of that survey, Doctors Council members wrote a White Paper.

Download White Paper

The White Paper was presented to the Mayor of New York City, the NYC Health Commissioner, and the CEO of the NYC Health+Hospitals Corporation just prior to collective bargaining negotiations in 2014.  The concept of the Collaboration Councils was developed in collective bargaining based on the White Paper,  and in the Spring of 2015, the hospital system and the union reached agreement on language setting forth the establishment of the Councils.

It is important to note that it was the testimony of frontline physicians in bargaining about their experience of exclusion from the many facets of healthcare improvement that lead to the Agreement.

HHC-DC SEIU Presentation
“Frontline doctors must be involved. If doctors believe they will have real involvement in an on-going process they will be more likely to speak out and participate. The process must exist to allow doctors to believe that we will be asked for input, that it will be listened to and that we are a meaningful part of decision-making.”

Dr. Roni Mendonca, Anesthesiologist, Metropolitan Hospital Center

Do you have any idea or input you want to share? Want to be part of the solution? Be involved in the FBCC!

The Facility-Based Collaboration Council is a pathway for Doctors Council members to work with H+H and admin.

For more information, or to be involved, please email and


Think TB Initiative

Coler Palliative Care Program

Coler Rehabilitation & Nursing Care Center

Now more than ever the Collaboration Councils are a core element of the mission and work of the Doctors Council.

We are proud of our journey of collaborative problem-solving in our workplaces, which after all are the places where the health care system and the population we serve come together.

Through the establishment of these forums of dialogue, we feel proud and confident that we lead the nation in the establishment of such on-going and highly developed spaces for problem-solving…which after all ought to be the essence of the empowered voice of the physician.

Thank you for reading about our journey.