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2013 AARP Best Employers

Atlantic Health System

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Industry: Hospitals/Health Care           Location: Morristown, N.J.         Website: www.atlantichealth.org

Winning Years: 2013, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006

Highlights of 2013 Winning Strategies

Atlantic Health System (AHS) retirees in the 1000 Hour Club can return to work either on a part-time or per diem basis three months after retirement. The retiree can work up to 999 hours annually and continue to collect retirement benefits. Retirees can attend hospital-based and community health fairs where they receive free health screenings on cholesterol, cardiac risk factor ratio, body mass index, blood pressure, prostate cancer, hearing loss, skin cancer and glucose levels.

Additional Policies and Practices

  • Recruiting: AHS uses senior placement agencies to target mature workers. In addition, the health system posts positions on retirementjobs.com, workforce50.com, senior4hire.com and Vetjobs.com.
  • Workplace Culture/Continued Opportunities: AHS employees working 19-plus hours per week are eligible for tuition reimbursement, while all employees receive in-house classroom training, on-line training, certification classes and reimbursement of professional membership dues. Georgetown University’s School of Nursing & Health Studies offers an online masters in nursing scholarship program with AHS. During a recent 12-month period, 100 percent of employees participated in at least one of the training opportunities with an average of 75 hours spent in training. Long-service anniversaries are celebrated with announcements, parties, gifts and awards. In response to employee opinion surveys, AHS enhanced its Bereavement Leave Policy by adding additional paid time off. In addition, a free shuttle service is offered from train stations to the hospital and for employees attending wellness and work/life programs at off-site locations. Employees have opportunities to gain new experiences by working on temporary assignments in other departments, on team projects, and by having access to formal job rotation and mentoring programs. AHS improved its working environment for older employees by installing 268 ceiling tract lifts, which reduce the physical stress associated with manually handling patients. Other accommodations made for AHS employees include ergonomic evaluations, providing a foot pedal mouse to alleviate hand/wrist/finger strain, and by offering a transitional duty program to those returning to work after illness or injury.
  • Benefits/Health: Employees working 22-plus hours per week receive individual and family medical coverage, individual and family prescription drug coverage, and individual and family vision insurance. Employees working 36-plus hours per week receive individual and family dental coverage, as well as long-term disability. All employees receive individual and family long-term care insurance. Health benefits for retirees pre-65 and retirees age 65-plus include individual and spouse medical and prescription drug coverage, as well as individual life insurance or other death benefit coverage. Retirees pre-65 are also eligible for individual and spouse vision insurance. Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) are available to assist in covering out-of-pocket health care costs. Employees and retirees also receive free health benefits including hospital/facility coverage as well as lab and radiology services. A nurse practitioner for nonacute illnesses is available on-site. Wellness benefits offered to full- and part-time employees include flu shots, health screenings, health risk appraisals, smoking cessation programs, health club discounts, physical activity and weight loss programs, cancer prevention programs, free hearing loss screenings, a sick call clinic, and stress management training. Seventy-two percent of AHS employees utilized at least one of these wellness-related benefits in a recent 12-month period. Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services are available to full- and part-time employees as well as their family members.
  • Benefits/Financial: Full- and part-time employees are offered a 403(b) plan and a cash-balance or other hybrid plan. Employees age 50-plus can make catch-up contributions to their plan and may choose to invest in lifecycle funds that automatically reallocate assets based on age or proximity to retirement. AHS has full-time on-site certified financial counselors to assist employees. AHS hosts free Focus on Your Financial Future Workshops that cover information on retirement planning, Social Security retirement benefits, AHS pension plans, IRA considerations, investment planning, debt management and education savings plans. Employees are offered short- and long-term leaves of absence without pay for caregiving needs. Full- and part-time employees are offered dependent care benefits such as on-site child care and grandchild care, and referral services and backup care to assist with child care, grandchild care and elder care.
  • Benefits/Alternative Work Arrangements: Flextime, compressed work schedules, job sharing and a formal phased retirement program are alternative work arrangements offered to all AHS employees. Employees working 19-plus hours per week can telecommute. Full-time employees are eligible to move to part-time work on a permanent or temporary basis.
  • Opportunities for Retirees: AHS has 2,564 retirees and an individual directly responsible for retiree relations. The hospital stays connected with its retirees by inviting retirees to organization events, providing retirees with ongoing access to retirement planning workshops and information, and by formally acknowledging employees upon their retirement. Retirees receive lifetime discounted meals at the hospital cafeterias. The following work arrangements are offered to retirees: temporary work assignments, consulting or contract work, telecommuting, and part-time work.
  • Age of Workforce: Thirty-eight percent of AHS employees are age 50-plus. The average tenure of employees age 50-plus is 15.9 years.

Also of Interest: More AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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