National Benefit Fund Marked 70th Anniversary in 2015, and National Pension Fund Celebrates 65 Years in 2016
This past year marked the 70th anniversary of the National Benefit Fund (NBF). The NBF of today traces its beginnings to the Local 1199 Benefit Plan, created in 1945. Funded by employer contributions, that first plan provided hospital, medical, disability and life insurance benefits to 300 New York City drugstore workers. In the late 1950s, Local 1199 founder Leon Davis led efforts to organize New York's not-for-profit hospitals, beginning with Montefiore Hospital and going on to include other major hospitals such as Long Island Jewish, Beth Israel and Lenox Hill. Some 10 years later, more than 50,000 members were receiving comprehensive health coverage, along with vision, dental, prescription drug and child-care benefits. In 1972, the Benefit Fund expanded to cover workers outside New York State and became the 1199 National Benefit Fund for Hospital and Health Care Employees. Today, 70 years after its creation, the NBF provides quality health coverage to more than 300,000 working and retired members and their families.
The National Pension Fund (NPF) was established six years after the Benefit Fund, eventually covering workers throughout the northeast. In 1991, the NPF was broken up into its geographic parts, and the 1199 Health Care Employees Pension Fund (HCEPF) was the successor in New York. In 2016, the HCEPF will celebrate 65 years of supporting its members' financial security in their retirement. Currently, close to 70,000 retirees receive pension checks from the HCEPF, with some 50,000 of them receiving health benefits from the NBF that supplement their Medicare coverage.
More than 500 nurses gathered for the Sixth Annual 1199SEIU Registered Nurses Division/Labor Management Initiative (RNLMI) Nursing Symposium, "A Blueprint for the Future of Nursing: New Roles and Opportunities," on Friday, December 4, at the New York Sheraton. Presentations by Judy Murphy, chief nursing officer of IBM Healthcare Global Business Services and Jeffrey A. Sachs, president of Sachs Policy Group, challenged participants to consider the impact of emerging technologies and expanding worksites. Participating hospitals prepared poster boards for a friendly competition that illustrated recent projects. Among the winners were Mount Sinai Queens, Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Northwell Health Forest Hills Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital and St. John's Episcopal Hospital. Norma Amsterdam, executive vice president of the 1199SEIU RN Division, noted the importance of patient-centered care, saying, "I want to express gratitude for your commitment and passion for healthcare. The patients are the ones to whom we must give quality care." Clare E. Thompson, vice president of the 1199SEIU RN Division, was honored for her exceptional work in the field of nursing. For more information about the RNLMI Nursing Symposium, contact Bernadette Braddy at (212) 894-4322.
RNLMI Nursing Symposium Prepares Nurses for Rapidly Changing Healthcare Industry
The Ninth Annual 1199SEIU/Employer Child Care Corporation's Care for Kids Gala took place on Monday, December 7, at the Edison Ballroom in Manhattan's theater district and raised more than $300,000 for the 1199SEIU/Employer Child Care Corporation (CCC), including the Future of America Learning Center (FALC), the corporation's premier early childhood learning center in the Bronx. Since 2006, the "Care for Kids" Gala has raised money to support Child Care Corporation programs that benefit families in the communities and institutions they serve. This year's theme was "When I Grow Up, I Want to Be..." Riya Alexander, an alumna of the CCC Youth Mentoring Program, spoke about the importance of such community-based programs. "If it wasn't for the Youth Mentoring Program, I wouldn't have had a truly unique experience," she said, "or the assurance in myself that the medical field is exactly where I want to be."
"Care for Kids" Gala Was a Great Success
The gala continues to honor exemplary individuals and organizations whose work demonstrates a commitment to children and families. This year's honorees were Courtney B. Vance, award-winning actor and advocate for youth; Pedro A. Noguera, Ph.D., distinguished professor of education at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, author and champion for urban education reform; and Dara Richardson-Heron, M.D., chief executive officer of YWCA-USA and visionary promoter of gender equality. Keith Mestrich, president and chief executive officer of Amalgamated Bank, served as gala chair; and George Gresham, president of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, and Bruce McIver, president of the League of Voluntary Hospitals and Homes of New York, served as honorary gala chairs.
For more than two decades, the Child Care Corporation and the Child Care Funds have helped provide more than 200,000 children of 1199SEIU members and the community at large with access to early childhood education, college preparation, summer day and sleep-away camps, internships, mentoring and other programs. For more information on the 1199SEIU/Employer Child Care Corporation, visit www.ChildCareCorp.org or call (646) 473-8369.
The Institute for Continuing Education (ICE) Presents Upcoming Programs
The 1199SEIU Training and Upgrading Fund assists 1199SEIU members in staying abreast of developments in their fields, helping them to provide quality care and earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs). The schedule is also available on our calendar at www.1199SEIUFunds.org/Institute.
Saturday, January 30
8:45 am to 4:30 pm This six-hour interdisciplinary program has been accredited for a number of healthcare practitioners. The program will be offered at the New York Times Conference Center, 242 West 41st Street, Manhattan. Live videocast and live webcast (Internet) will also be available.
Free prep courses are also available for national and New York State Licensure examinations for several positions, including social workers and clinical lab technologists. Please share these opportunities with members at your institution. For more information, please visit www.1199SEIUFunds.org/Institute or contact the Training and Upgrading Fund's Institute for Continuing Education at (212) 894-4390 or Institute@1199Funds.org.
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