100 Best Places to Work in Healthcare – 2011 - Part 1

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Beryl

Becker's ASC Review/Becker's Hospital Review has announced its list of the "100 Best Places to Work in Healthcare." The 2011 list was developed through nominations and research, and the following organizations were selected for their demonstrated excellence in providing a work environment that promotes teamwork, professional development and quality patient care.


For a variety of reasons, the editors ultimately determined to focus the list on hospitals, health systems, surgery centers and large physician practices. The list excludes advertisers. All organizations that are placed on the list undergo a substantial review with other peers and through our own research. Note: Companies are listed alphabetically by name.

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ACMH Hospital (Kittanning, Pa.)
Type of facility: Hospital/health system
What makes it a Best Place to Work: ACMH Hospital is a 174-bed, non-profit facility that leads Armstrong County employment with approximately 857 full-time employees. The hospital's benefits program includes the usual — health, dental, short/long-term disability and retirement — as well as the creative — free parking, discounts at area businesses, employee recognition dinners for years of service and personal days. Along with benefits, staff members are encouraged to pursue professional development through continuing education opportunities and tuition reimbursement. The ACMH Hospital School of Radiology, which offers a 24-month certification program, recently celebrated its 50th graduating class. Sarun (Pap) Suwan, MD, of Armstrong Surgical Associates, says, "Working at ACMH is working in a small community — a community of doctors, nurses, administrators and staff who are all striving to provide the best care for our patients. I enjoy the close working relationships I have with the people whom I work with daily. I think that this familiarity makes for a relaxed and efficient working environment for my patients and me." Jodi Beers, executive director of the ACMH Foundation, worked at ACMH Hospital for 15 years before she returned to join the Foundation. "When I interviewed to come back on board at ACMH, I said I wanted to retire from here … and I still do!" she says.

Advocate Health Care (Oak Brook, Ill.)
Type of facility: Hospital/health system
What makes it a Best Place to Work: Advocate Health Care is one of Chicagoland's largest employers, with more than 30,000 associates, including 6,000 affiliated physicians and 9,000 nurses. Advocate employees can count themselves as part of a system that does a tremendous amount of good for its community: In 2010, Advocate's system-wide charity campaign raised roughly $90.7 million and its charitable foundation facilitated 12 volunteer-led fundraising events. Every year, the system holds an Associate Appreciation Week with a variety of activities to thank employees for their work. For employees and covered spouses who participate in the Advocate Medical Plan, the system provides incentives to improve health and manage healthcare expenses. In terms of employee development, Advocate provides 100 percent reimbursement for pursuing specific certification, degrees and licensure in high-demand areas, as well as in-house education. Professionals also provide career planning services for employees looking to move within the system or pursue other work.

Agnesian HealthCare (Fond du Lac, Wis.)

Type of facility: Hospital/health system
What makes it a Best Place to Work: As an integrated, comprehensive, non-profit healthcare delivery system, Agnesian HealthCare is comprised of 2,750 employees and six ministries. In 2000, the health system formed a recruitment and retention team focused on building and sustaining an excellent workforce. Using the "staff focus" category of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award criteria as a framework, committee members looked to meet employees' basic needs through a standardized pay system and a more robust benefits plan. The system's new benefits plan includes an on-site child care center, a fitness facility staffed with personal trainers and a wellness program that encourages smoking cessation, exercise and healthy food choices. Agnesian also helps employees build their skills through career ladders with corresponding pay increases, increased tuition assistance benefits, cross-training between entities and partnerships with several colleges and training programs in the area. Since 2000, overall employee turnover at the health system has declined by 50 percent to a favorable nine percent overall turnover rate.

Akron General Medical Center (Akron, Ohio)
Type of facility: Hospital/health system
What makes it a Best Place to Work: Akron General serves more than 1.2 million people in five Ohio counties and has been named one of the 99 best places to work in Northeast Ohio by the Employers Resource Council, a recognition that honors employers that excel in compensation, benefits, training and education and other services. In addition to benefits such as adoption assistance, tuition reimbursement, dependent life insurance and retirement plans, Akron General offers a host of perks. Employees can use on-site dry cleaning pick-up, as well as film developing and discounts on local family entertainment and area businesses. Akron employees come together every year for the annual employee picnic. The system maintains a strict tobacco-free environment and prides itself on its commitment to diversity.

Ambulatory Endoscopy Center of Dallas (Dallas, Texas)
Type of facility: Ambulatory surgery center
What makes it a Best Place to Work: Employees at Ambulatory Endoscopy Clinic of Dallas reap the benefits of the ambulatory surgery center's partnership with HCA, now in its 15th year. Staff members receive many benefits, including health, dental and vision insurance, a 401k plan and tuition reimbursement, according to Jennifer Cahill, business office manager for the ASC. The ASC employs a very tight-knit group of 21 people who often share lunch together and offer support to one another, which has translated into happy employees, says Ms. Cahill. "When problems come up they are immediately addressed to help foster an environment of trust and equality," she says. "Our clinical staff is accountable to one another and they work together to solve issues that arise. All clinical staff is encouraged to offer ideas no matter what letters appear behind their name. Management supports employee efforts to improve on processes to make sure work flow is efficient."

Ambulatory Surgery Center of Stevens Point (Stevens Point, Wis.)
Type of facility: Ambulatory surgery center
What makes it a Best Place to Work: Since the Ambulatory Surgery Center of Stevens Point opened in 2006, the owners have been committed to choosing the right team for the center's success, says administrator Becky Ziegler-Otis. Despite low revenue during the center's first 18 months, the owners allowed staff to work at their hired hours and provided hired benefits. Five years later, the center's owners still demonstrate an unusual commitment to their staff members through small acts of generosity — for example, purchasing rain jackets for all employees "just because." Since 2006, the Ambulatory Surgery Center of Stevens Point has seen only one employee resign. In 2010, the center developed a wellness committee and has seen nearly 100-percent employee participation in various fitness and wellness campaigns. In addition to health, dental and other "usual" benefits, the center also provides less typical benefits, such as a monthly recognition lunch, free soda and cookies, ergonomic assessments to prevent workplace injuries and an annual Christmas party.

Andrews Institute Ambulatory Surgery Center (Gulf Breeze, Fla.)
Type of facility:
Ambulatory surgery center
What makes it a Best Place to Work: Andrews Institute Ambulatory Surgery Center opened in 2007 as a joint venture between James Andrews, MD, local surgeons and Baptist Health Care of Pensacola (Fla.). Like many ASCs, Andrews Institute provides flexible scheduling for its employees, and staff never has to work holidays or weekends. "Patients frequently comment on how well the staff interact and work together, [and] they also indicate how happy the staff appears: lots of smiling faces," says quality assurance coordinator Barbara Holder, RN, LHRM. This enthusiasm may be due to the emphasis on feedback in the ASC: Employees are encouraged to submit their ideas in staff forums, department meetings and daily stand-up meetings. According to Ms. Holder, benefits at AIASC include a generous PTO package, an employer-matched 401(k) plan, various medical, dental, vision and flexible spending plans, short- and long-term disability and an employee bonus plan.

Animas Surgical Hospital (Durango, Colo.)
Type of facility: Hospital/health system
What makes it a Best Place to Work: This multi-specialty hospital and its physician owners strive to provide surgical excellence, an effort recognized by Consumer Reports, which ranked the hospital as the best in the state of Colorado. Animas offers competitive benefits, including health and dental insurance, vision benefits, paid vacation for full- and part-time employees and a 401(k) plan. One employee said about the environment at Animas, "The surgeons and staff work side by side — we have the opportunity to be the avenue for change because owner contact is easy. We feel empowered to take responsibility." The hospital maintains a low employee turnover rate due to its competitive salaries and family environment, employees says. The hospital touts a high nurse-to-patient coverage ratio and high employee satisfaction, which administrators attribute to the lack of bureaucracy present in a physician-owned hospital.

AtlantiCare (Egg Harbor Township, N.J.)
Type of facility: Hospital/health system
What makes it a Best Place to Work: Employees at AtlantiCare join a system of 5,000 staff members contributing to the health of Southeastern New Jersey. A non-profit organization, AtlantiCare's community centers around its flagship hospital, 567-bed AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center. The system offers a wide array of complimentary development opportunities for staff, including hundreds of e-learning courses and several "tracks" designed to turn staff members into organization leaders. For example, the "Pathways to Leadership" track is designed for front-line staff with high potential for moving into a leadership role. AtlantiCare also offers a robust employee wellness program; the AtlantiCare LifeCenter features exercise equipment and spa-like amenities, and a wellness coordinator is always available to employees who wish to plan for a healthier lifestyle. Other benefits, such as an employee assistance program, an on-site day care center and 104 hours of annual personal time encourage employees to pursue a healthy work-life balance.

Bailey Medical Center (Owasso, Okla.)

Type of facility: Hospital/health system
What makes it a Best Place to Work: Bailey Medical Center is a 73-bed acute-care hospital that is owned by Ardent Health Services and physicians. In its most recent employee satisfaction survey, 94 percent of employees said they were "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with their employment, and 95 percent said they would recommend employment at the hospital. Bailey has installed a variety of activities to build employee engagement, including employee lunches, an employee activities committee and an "Above and Beyond" program that recognizes fellow employees. A member of Bailey Medical Center's bariatrics program said about her employer, "I drive past four hospitals every day just so I can come here to be around my true passion: bariatric patients. I also love it here because we are a big family. The people I work with are amazing, and I feel a great sense of loyalty to Bailey because of the people I work with." BMC's employee benefits include medical insurance plans, paid time off, tuition reimbursement, extended illness compensation and life insurance.

Baptist Health South Florida (South Miami, Fla.)
Type of facility
: Hospital/health system
What makes it a Best Place to Work: Baptist Health South Florida was created in 1990, bringing the region's top non-profit hospitals under one name for the first time. Baptist practices a "promote-from-within policy," meaning existing employees will always be considered for open positions if they possess the qualifications and experience appropriate for the job. To help employees become qualified for those coveted positions, Baptist directs its employees to Baptist Health University, which offers more than 1,000 online courses and 500 classroom courses. The system's career center also gives employees the chance to speak with a career consultant privately and benefit from résumé writing and job interview advice. Each year, Baptist Health's Scholars Program provides more than 200 nursing scholarships to qualified employees. Employees benefit from meals-to-go and an on-site hair salon and car wash.

Barnes-Jewish Hospital (St. Louis, Mo.)
Type of facility
: Hospital/health system
What makes it a Best Place to Work: Barnes-Jewish Hospital, a member of the BJC HealthCare system, is one of the largest employers in St. Louis. Hospital employees receive competitive compensation packages as well as medical, dental and vision coverage. The hospital also provides benefits for employee spouses, including domestic partners for same-sex couples. Other benefits include disability coverage, paid time off and 401(k)/403(b) retirement savings plans and pension plans. Employees can participate in merit pay programs and employee recognition for staff members who exhibit exemplary performance. For example, the Health Hall of Fame recognizes achievements in lifestyle that improve overall health and well-being, and the Excellence in Leadership Award honors one member of management for demonstration of exceptional leadership. Notes of appreciation can be sent to co-workers and supervisors at any time during the year. "Management has a keen sense for understanding if we're getting a little frayed around the edges and need a change," says Tracy, an acute care nurse at Barnes-Jewish. "If that happens, I get involved with orientation of new nurses. We get to spend quality time with a new nurse who's eager to learn, and it reignites the fire."

BayCare Clinic (Green Bay, Wis.)
Type of facility
: Specialty clinic
What makes it a Best Place to Work: BayCare Clinic is the largest specialty healthcare clinic in Northeast Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. According to its leadership, BayCare is well on its way to meeting its stated goal of being "the most fit company in Brown County." More than a year into its Healthy Lifestyles Premium Discount Program — intended to improve employee health while bringing down costs in BayCare's self-funded health plan — employees have seen marked improvements in health and fitness. Upon the program's inception, 21 percent of participants tested at an "excellent" level of body composition and fitness; one year later, the number jumped to 58 percent, with obesity dropping dramatically. BayCare boasts a turnover rate well below the national and regional average. In 2010, the annualized turnover rate was 9.4 percent. This notable employee loyalty may be due to a host of robust benefits, including a strong medical plan, employer-paid long-term and short-term disability and life insurance, a 401k retirement program with a three percent employer match and competitive wages.

BayCare Health System (Tampa Bay, Fla.)
Type of facility
: Hospital/health system
What makes it a Best Place to Work: Composed of 10 non-profit hospitals and 20 ambulatory and outpatient centers, BayCare Health System is a leading community-based health system in the Tampa Bay area. In 2010, the organization approved pay raises for every employee, despite the struggle of running a non-profit hospital in a community that is up to 21 percent uninsured. BayCare also distributed annual performance payments for employees who met pre-determined goals. According to Marty Lassiter, BA, CPAM, patient financial services auditor for the system, the system's high employee satisfaction rates are evident when he makes his way through the hospital departments. "I am an internal auditor, which is not always a popular person," he says. "When I arrive unannounced, I am able to do my job and converse easily with team members and management due to the values we all display. The management from the top down has an open door policy. We are expected to live these values in our dealings with everyone." The organization's benefits include wellness programs with incentives for improving employee health, discounts for non-smokers, college tuition programs, online education opportunities and financial assistance for employee hardship. Wellness is also supported through no charge screenings, flu shots and weight management services.

Baylor Health Care System (Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas)
Type of facility
: Hospital/health system
What makes it a Best Place to Work: Twenty-six hospitals, 23 ambulatory surgery centers and 50 outpatient facilities are owned, operated, joint ventured or affiliated with Baylor Health Care System in Dallas. To help employees pursue personal growth and professional development, Baylor provides tuition reimbursement for eligible full-time employees with six months of tenure at Baylor. Among its more creative benefits, Baylor offers adoption assistance, an employee trust fund and discounted cell phone contracts. The system also offers discounts to employees at three Baylor fitness facilities, as well as the YMCA and 24 Hour Fitness. In March 2010, the diabetic interns at BUMC held several events to celebrate National Nutrition Month. The chosen theme is "living well with color," and employees will celebrate by stopping by educational stations for tips on eating well, as well as free samples, recipes, handouts, games and prices. Baylor Garland will hold special mammography screenings during March and April for employees. Any employee who schedules a mammogram will be given a free box lunch.

Beaumont Hospitals (Royal Oak, Mich.)
Type of facility
: Hospital/health system
What makes it a Best Place to Work: Beaumont encourages and supports the career and educational advancement of its employees with a variety of programs. Its internal job bidding program helps employees transfer to different departments and apply for promotions within the organization, and educational assistance provides up to $1,200 a year for full time employees. Staff can also take advantage of Beaumont University, which offers numerous courses — both online and in the classroom — to help employees maintain existing credentials or advance their careers. The system also offers nursing internships to graduate nurses or those looking for a new specialty. Beaumont stands behind its belief that "a healthy work place starts with healthy people." myOptimal Health Onsite provides health education, recreational programs and health resources to system employees, and a variety of fitness facilities are available at discounted rates. An annual employee health fair encourages employees to live healthier lives.

Beebe Medical Center (Lewis, Del.)
Type of facility
: Hospital/health system
What makes it a Best Place to Work: Founded in 1916 by two physician brothers, Beebe Medical Center is a 210-bed, non-profit seaside community hospital. Employees receive competitive and generous shift differential as well as generous salaries. Regular full-time employees accrue 25 days per year in paid time off, and the center recognizes eight holidays annually. Staff members are also given ongoing educational opportunities, including up to $3,500 a year in tuition reimbursement for full-time team members. Beacon, the hospital's newsletter, distributes employee success stories and clinical news on a quarterly basis. An extra nine percent for evening shift, 14 percent for night shift and nine percent for weekend shift is paid for all hourly employees, with an additional 18 percent for weekend evening and 23 percent for weekend night. Employees can take advantage of free annual physical examinations, tuberculosis screenings and flu vaccines, and individual and family membership in the local blood bank is free to all employees.

Berkshire Medical Center (Pittsfield, Mass.)
Type of facility
: Hospital/health system
What makes it a Best Place to Work: Berkshire Medical Center, a 302-bed community hospital in Pittsfield, Mass., is a teaching facility affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Staff are deeply involved in hospital projects, including the development and construction of a 30,000-square-foot, eight-OR ambulatory surgery center. For the second year in a row in 2010, the Berkshire Health Systems Wellness at Work program was one of a select group of programs to receive national recognition from the C. Everett Koop National Health Project. As Berkshire County's largest employer, the system provides its wellness program to over 3,000 BHS employees. BMC has established numerous programs to reward employees for their hard work. In addition to generous earned time and holiday benefits, employees receive both paid educational time and tuition reimbursement benefits and enjoy an annual employee recognition and awards dinner. The hospital's 2010 Fourth of July float was constructed by employees and voted the community's "most outstanding float" for the year.

Black Hills Surgical Hospital (Rapid City, S.D.)
Type of facility
: Specialty hospital
What makes it a Best Place to Work: Black Hills Surgical Hospital is an 11-OR specialty hospital that staffs in-house hospitalists and maintains a 3:1 patient to nurse ratio. In addition to health and savings benefits, the hospital offers sizable discounts on all services provided at BHSH, training and education assistance, holiday cash gifts, frequent catered lunches and a floating paid day off on each birthday as well as a gift certificate to a local restaurant. The hospital's wellness program offers free flu shots and screenings, smoking cessation assistance, CPR training, weight management assistance and a wellness newsletter that provides recipes and exercise tips. "We have such a great reputation for not only providing a first-rate and unmatched patient experience, but also for our professionalism and great work environment, as I literally have a drawer full of resumes from local RNs, CNAs and surgical techs," says Sheila Foreman, HR manager at Black Hills. "Unfortunately for them, our turnover rate is extremely low; in fact, in 2010 we had our lowest turnover rate since opening our doors in 2007." Employees are encouraged to submit ideas and concerns to hospital administration via a suggestion hotline and boxes found throughout the facility.

Brigham and Women's Hospital (Boston, Mass.)
Type of facility
: Hospital/health system
What makes it a Best Place to Work: The 777-bed Brigham and Women's Hospital, known affectionately as "The Brigham," is a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School and part of Partners HealthCare, a 10-hospital network in Massachusetts. Employees are entitled to subsidized memberships at a fully equipped fitness center at a variety of locations in the city and suburbs, and the hospital provides two types of backup child care services for emergencies. All employees are encouraged to participate in a variety of classes that address topics such as time management, continuing education, self-assessment and career counseling, and full-time employees pursuing higher education can receive tuition reimbursement up to $2,000 per year. The hospital's transportation program applies to all Brigham employees and offers a 50 percent subsidy on all Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority passes.


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