Authors of Union – February ’21

Welcome to Authors of Union, highlighting our many published authors. Each month, we will highlight our accomplished community of writers who are transforming lives and communities.

Peter Lazes

From the Ground Up: How Frontline Staff Can Save Americas Healthcare

Dr. Peter Lazes is passionate about transforming the healthcare system. He believes, “All Americans deserve and should have access to high quality, affordable healthcare services delivered by professionals who have sufficient time and resources to care for them.” His new book, From the Ground Up: How Frontline Staff Can Save Americas Healthcare, (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2020); written with his wife, Marie Rudden, M.D., the book presents proven and practical approaches for redesigning healthcare organizations. By tapping into the experiences of frontline workers, the organizations will be less fragmented and more patient-centered. Their work focuses on identifying and finding solutions to access and quality of care issues. They share case studies of the use of Labor-Management Partnerships to improve patient care and to redesign healthcare organizations.

Harvard Business School professor, Amy C. Edmondson, author of  The Fearless Organization urges healthcare leaders to read this book. “Everyone in a hospital leadership role should read this book as it offers a wealth of practical advice for organizations intent on improving their clinical care delivery.”

Mitchell H. Katz, MD, CEO and President, NYC Health + Hospitals encourages healthcare leaders to use Lazes’ book as an important roadmap for identifying and creating changes. He says, “…as you read this book you will not only learn the successful techniques of engaging and supporting frontline staff but will also be inspired to improve healthcare wherever you work.”

Dr. Lazes is a specialist in organizational change, leadership development, and Labor-Management Partnerships. He is also the founder and former director of the Healthcare Transformation Project and Programs for Employment and Workplace Systems at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, where he has served for 40 years. He has worked with labor union and management leaders in the U.S. to customize and implement strategic worker participation programs. His recent work involves assisting hospitals and healthcare organizations to develop methods to improve patient care and reduce costs with a focus on frontline staff engagement.

Traveling extensively in Europe, Dr. Lazes conducts seminars on organizational change and ways to encourage employee-driven innovation opportunities. He has written more than 30 articles on such topics as the creation of agile work systems, new roles for unions in the 21st century, ways to create meaningful jobs, methods to increase civic participation and strategies for keeping American jobs; in addition, he has produced several videotapes on topics such as creating breakthroughs in organizations.

Dr. Lazes received his Ph.D. from Union Institute & University in 1974 with concentrations in clinical and industrial psychology.

Nancy Shiffrin

Game With Variations

Nancy Shiffrin earned her Master of Arts in English studying with Anais Nin. She earned her Ph.D. at Union Institute & University studying Jewish-American women authors. Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, New York Quarterly, Earth’s Daughters, Lummox Journal, The Canadian Jewish Outlook, A Cafe in Space, Religion and Literature, Shofar, and numerous other publications. She has received awards and honorable mentions from The Academy of American Poets, The Poetry Society of America, The Alice Jackson Foundation, The Dora Teitelboim Foundation, and most recently first prize in the Angela Consolo Mankiewicz Poetry Contest Lummox Journal 2019. Her poetry collection, The Vast Unknowing, (Infinity Publishing) is available from Her collections, Game With Variations and Flight, are forthcoming from Her recent works include:
FLIGHT. New poems accepted by Two new poems excerpted on
GAME WITH VARIATIONSLove poems; THE VAST UNKNOWINGPoems of the creative life; OUT OF THE GARDEN – a novella invoking Anais Nin. For more information visit

Betty Fox Cooper

Family Vital to Us and Society

Alumna Betty Fox Cooper, Ph.D. 1990, was living a life of purpose, facilitating professional and community development, peace studies, and directing the Adlerian Family Education Center. When she suddenly lost her husband of 62 years, she found herself crippled with pain and grief. This led her to an examination of intensive and extensive contemplation of the past. She journals this experience in her recent book, Family Vital to Us and Society.

Amazon describes her journey as, “While contemplating life experiences, she saw how families had not only been vital to her but were also our society’s change agents. Feelings of gratitude became overwhelming as she saw the love, compassion, and encouragement given to her through the years yet previously overlooked. The book covers her journey of moving from grief to joy, from sadness to happiness, from malfunctioning to functioning, and finding life is enriching and invigorating.”

Check back next month for more Authors of Union and their publications.

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