Dennis Rivera is the Chair of SEIU Healthcare, the healthcare division of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Launched in June of 2007, SEIU Healthcare unites over 1.1 million nurses and healthcare workers in an effort to provide the highest quality health care to every patient, heal our nation’s broken healthcare system, and bring hope of better jobs and better lives to millions of caregivers throughout the U.S. Rivera is also the Chair of the Partnership for Quality Care (PQC), a new coalition of healthcare providers and healthcare workers committed to ensuring that affordable, comprehensive healthcare is available to every man, woman and child in America. Modern Healthcare, the industry’s foremost publication, recently ranked Dennis Rivera sixth on its list of the “100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare.”
As President of 1199SEIU from 1989 to 2007, Rivera oversaw dramatic growth in union membership within the healthcare sector. His knowledge of hospital systems and his desire to improve the quality of patient care helped transform the state of labor-management relationships in New York. With Rivera’s guidance, healthcare workers emerged on the national stage as a united, passionate voice for working families on a host of social issues, including healthcare access and affordability, economic justice, immigration rights, and the Iraq war.
Born in Aibonito, Puerto Rico, in 1950, Rivera attended the Colegio Universitario de Cayey, and then left school to become a fulltime union organizer of Puerto Rican hospital workers. After moving to New York in 1977, he was hired as union organizer, working in several of the city's healthcare facilities, including Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. Rivera holds a variety of posts in the national and New York labor movements and serves on the board of the Hispanic Education and Legal Fund, Riverkeeper, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build A Healthier America.