Kaiser Permanente Contract Specialist, Kathleen Schmidt, retired yesterday after 15 years with Kaiser, 10 of which she served as a steward.
Schmidt began her nursing career when she was just 15-years-old at St. Vincent Hospital in New York.
“Back then, nursing was an extremely dangerous profession we were cleaning the beds with toxins that you would never dream of using today,” said Schmidt.
Later in life, she moved to Virginia to be closer to her daughter and grandchildren, that’s when she began working for Kaiser as a triage nurse because it allowed her to utilize her vast array of skills and knowledge she acquired throughout her career.
At Local 400 Schmidt served as the contract specialist for Kaiser Permanente contract negotiations. She balanced the concerns of the membership at Local 400 as well as those of Kaiser Permanente and never took her nurses cap off, she always had the concerns of the patients in mind at all times.
Kathleen has been a valuable asset to Local 400 from day one. Her dedication to the membership as our contract specialist for Kaiser all these years has strengthened our partnership with Kaiser Permanente and we couldn’t thank her enough.
There have been many great accomplishments for Schmidt in her career, but most recently, the Innovation Grant was awarded to the mid-Atlantic region by Kaiser National to develop a new education program that will train union stewards in Kaiser National agreements and processes. Schmidt has been participating for the past few months on the creation of this program and developing curricula. The goal is for the program to be adopted by all Kaiser regions.
“You guys have been fantastic, both the folks that work here at Local 400 and the persons that I work with at Kaiser,” said Schmidt, addressing the crowd. “I mean we have really brought this partnership to fruition.”
She plans on starting off her retirement life right by sailing to Canada in two weeks. She is also excited to be spending more time with her 90 year-old mother, her daughters and grandchildren, as well as a new dog.