We bid a fond farewell to Susan…
Susan Wasstrom, interim director of 1199SEIU’s Training and Employment Funds’ Labor Management Project (LMP) retired on April 1, after 14 years of service. Taking her place as co-directors of the LMP are Bernadette Braddy and Clyde Riggins, Jr.
Wasstrom’s career began as a healthcare worker, working with clients with developmental disabilities. After helping to organize her institution into 1199, she took a job as an organizer with an 1199 local in New England. She also worked with the Congress of Community Colleges and as an organizational consultant, a job she held for five years prior to joining the Training and Employment Funds (TEF). During Wasstrom’s tenure at TEF, she served as an LMP project consultant, associate director, co-director and director. She oversaw the creation of many impactful initiatives, including the Patient Centered Care (PCC) Program, Infection Prevention Program, International Action Research Project, and the Empowerment Zone Grant.
In 2012 Wasstrom was asked to relocate to Florida to work with union and hospital leadership to establish a new regional Training & Employment Fund. She worked with the University of Miami Hospital and 1199SEIU to establish their partnership structure and to develop and support projects that give frontline employees a meaningful voice in the work they do on a daily basis. While in Florida, she continued to oversee all regional programs for TEF. She rejoined the LMP as interim director in late 2014.
During her final tenure, Wasstrom guided the expansion of the LMP to a current staff of more than 40 and the development of new leaders. She also helped align the mission and goals of the LMP with the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Program and other changes in the healthcare industry.
In her retirement, she looks forward to the birth of her first grandchild, who is due this spring, and to spending more time with her family in Connecticut. She also plans to continue as a consultant to support partnership work with the union and SEIU locals and their employers.
At Susan’s retirement party, TEF’s Executive Director Deborah King highlighted the key role Susan has played in building the LMP and in the development of union and management leaders and LMP staff — truly a great legacy!
… And welcome Bernadette and Clyde!
Braddy and Riggins bring unique and complementary perspectives to the job. Before joining TEF, Braddy worked in the health care industry for 15 years, as the patient flow coordinator in the emergency room of Bayley Seton Hospital. She began her career with TEF in 2005 as an LMP consultant and worked as TEF’s regional director for Maryland/DC in 2012. In 2013, she returned to New York and joined the Registered Nurse Labor Management Initiative (RNLMI) as a consultant. She was quickly promoted, becoming the assistant director of RNLMI in 2014. In that role, she oversaw the labor/management work that the RNLMI supported in hospitals with RNs represented by 1199SEIU. This included facilitating interest-based bargaining and assessing existing services to identify opportunities for improvement. “I am committed to improving the dynamics of labor and management relationships, by empowering workers to see themselves as agents of change,” she says.
Riggins joined the LMP in 2005, after serving as Manager of Organizational Development and Change Management at the Bronx campus of the The Jewish Home Lifecare, which served approximately 2,500 employees and 750 residents and patients. As an LMP consultant, he helped nursing home and hospital staff enhance existing services and develop new initiatives, identifying opportunities for improvement by reviewing their organizational priorities and customer feedback surveys. As LMP Assistant Director, he oversaw the work of consultants with our hospital and union partners. As co-director, Riggins says: “Bernadette and I have inherited a great legacy and we’re committed to growing and sustaining the LMP brand. We plan to use all of our resources effectively to help our labor and management leaders navigate opportunities and challenges in these uncharted healthcare waters. Our current team is great, and we look forward to working together with our partners to further the collaborative work in the institutions. Great days are ahead and we will embrace our opportunities together.”