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New Jersey, Florida Health Facilities Top Finishers in AARP's New Hospitals-Health Care List of Best Employers for Workers Over 50

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 9, 2009

CONTACT:

Dave Nathan

202-434-2560

dnathan@aarp.org

NEW JERSEY, FLORIDA HEALTH FACILITIES TOP FINISHERS IN AARP’S NEW HOSPITALS-HEALTH CARE LIST OF BEST EMPLOYERS FOR WORKERS OVER 50

Atlantic Health (#1) (Morristown, NJ) and Lee Memorial Health System (#2) (Fort Myers, FL) Lead Way.

Washington, DC—Atlantic Health of Morristown, NJ is the winner in the first year of AARP’s separate Hospitals-Health Care list of Best Employers for Workers Over 50. Ranked second is Lee Memorial Health System of Fort Myers, FL.

In the past, AARP has considered both health care and non-health care organizations for general Best Employers honors, and, in fact, many of the top ranked hospital and health care facilities have been past winners. That includes not only Atlantic Health and Lee Memorial, but also others among this year’s leading health care employers, such as Mercy Health System (#3) of Janesville, WI, and Bon Secours Richmond Health System (#4) of Richmond, VA.

“AARP has decided to set up a separate health care and hospitals honor roll this year to acknowledge efforts in the health care field to creatively deal with shortages in qualified workers,” explained Deborah Russell, AARP’s Director of Workforce Issues. “They have set a standard in meeting the needs of an age-diverse workforce,” she added.

Russell said she was especially delighted to have such top flight employers as Atlantic Health and Lee Memorial as the top-ranked hospitals and health care winners this year.

Atlantic Health operates Morristown Memorial Hospital and Overlook Hospital, which include several specialized centers and facilities. Atlantic Health has more than 9,000 employees.

Atlantic Health offers a variety of flexible work arrangements that appeal to aged 50 and over workers. They include compressed schedules, variable shifts, job sharing, telecommuting and seasonal work. Post-retirement employment is provided under the auspices of the “1000 Hour Club”, with retirees working at Atlantic Health as many as 999 hours each year without losing their retirement benefits. “Focus on Your Financial Future” events – free workshops – provide information on retirement planning, Social Security benefits, pension plans, investment planning debt management, and education savings plans. On-site certified financial counselors are available on site daily as well.

An aggressive ergonomics program has been instituted in recent years, with more than 1,000 evaluations done with nurses and other employees at their work stations. Physical accommodations frequently have been made as a result.

Atlantic Health has an elaborate wellness program that encourages employees to maintain a personal profile through questionnaires that focus in part on cardiac, cancer, nutrition, exercise and stress issues. A confidential health summary that includes suggestions for improvements is provided to employees. Employees have an option of lab work, and suggestions follow for improvements or further follow up with physicians. As an incentive, a variety of prizes is offered for a number of those who complete the wellness profile. Last year, more than 2,000 employees participated.

Commenting on the #1 rating, Andrew Kovach, Atlantic Health’s vice president of human resources, said:

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