By Don McIntosh
Members of Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals (OFNHP) elected a new set of leaders in a pair of vote-by-mail elections tallied March 27 and April 23. Incumbent president Adrienne Enghouse drew four challengers in the initial vote, and came in third place. In the runoff between the top two vote-getters, Jodi Barschow outpolled Misty Richards 724 to 645. Runoffs were also held for vice president and Kaiser RN vice chair.
The 5,400-member union represents registered nurses and medical technologists at Kaiser Permanente in Oregon, plus medical technologists at PeaceHealth hospitals in Vancouver, Longview and Springfield.
Barschow was the head of a reform caucus slate called STAnD UP (Supporting Transparency And Democratic Union Power), and all four members of the slate were elected to the union’s top four offices. Voter turnout was more than double usual.
A pediatric nurse at Kaiser’s Mt. Scott clinic, Barschow has been a Kaiser employee 12 years, and got involved in the union four years ago, first as a union steward, and later a member of the union bargaining team and Kaiser RN vice chair. She took a two-year leave to serve as a full-time rank-and-file union representative, helping stewards enforce the union contract.
Enghouse, OFNHP president since 2017, says she’s taking time to consider what’s next, whether going to work elsewhere in the labor movement or returning to work as an RN at Kaiser Sunnyside. Enghouse remains one of 24 delegates OFNHP sends to meetings and conventions of American Federation of Teachers (AFT). OFNHP is AFT Local 5017, while sister union Oregon Nurses Association is AFT Local 5905.
Barschow and the other officers began two-year terms April 24. She and the newly elected slate will work to develop a more unified board, develop rank-and-file leaders, and grow the union. With the position of staff director vacant, Barschow will be responsible for overseeing the union’s 17 staff.
Also elected were:
- Vice President Jeffrey Markovics
- Secretary Rhea Hindemit
- Treasurer Debbie Frazier
- Kaiser RN Chair Joshua Holt, Vice Chairs Mindy Schiebler and Sherri Boesen
- Kaiser Lab Pros Chair Shirlee Morehouse
- Kaiser Professional Chair Sarina Roher
- Kaiser RDH Chair Shari Brown
- Kaiser Tech Chair Krista Lehan, Vice Chair Jennifer Burton
- PeaceHealth Southwest Washington Tech Chair Eric Quinn
- PeaceHealth Southwest Washington Service and Maintenance Chair Jodi Atteberry, Vice Chair Mindi Tracy Tindall
- Sacred Heart Tech Chair Laurie Heppel