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2013 AARP Best Employers

West Virginia University Hospitals


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Industry: Hospitals/Health Care            Location: Morgantown, W.Va.     Website:

Winning Years: 2013, 2011, 2009, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004

Highlights of 2013 Winning Strategies

WVU Hospitals (WVUH) offers a Formal Phased Retirement Program to its employees. Employees in phased retirement work a minimum of 20 hours per week and maintain full health care benefits for themselves and their dependents. The free on-site Health Coaching Program offers employees the support necessary to learn to take charge of personal health, wellness and self-change. Employees meet weekly with the coach to receive guidance on how to improve eating habits and health and life satisfaction, how to increase physical activity, and how to manage weight and stress. During a recent 12-month period, 63 percent of employees participating in the Health Coaching Program were age 50-plus.

Additional Policies and Practices

  • Recruiting: WVUH participates in the Senior Expo and Veterans Recruitment events to target mature workers and retirees.
  • Workplace Culture/Continued Opportunities: WVUH employees working 20-plus hours per week are eligible for a tuition reimbursement benefit. Certification classes, reimbursement of professional membership dues, in-house classroom training and online training are offered to all employees. During a recent 12-month period, 100 percent of employees participated in at least one of the training opportunities with an average of six hours spent in training. Long-service anniversaries are celebrated with announcements, parties, awards and monetary gifts. In addition, employees receive an increase in paid days off with years of service. In response to WVUH’s Employee Engagement Survey, changes have been made to the organization’s leadership training programs and organizational communication has been improved. 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. Flexible scheduling options have been implemented so employees do not have to work consistent days throughout the week, and employees also have the option of changing their shift hours in the winter months because of difficult driving conditions.
  • Benefits/Health: Employees working 20-plus hours per week receive individual and family medical coverage, individual and family prescription drug coverage, individual and family vision and dental insurance, and short-term disability. Long-term disability is offered to employees working 25-plus hours per week. Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) are available to help employees cover out-of-pocket health care costs. In addition, employees who participate in the hospital’s Wellness Program earn discounts on health insurance premiums. 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, an employee health clinic, skin cancer screenings, and stress management training. Ninety-two percent of WVUH 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: Employees working 20-plus hours per week are offered a 403(b) plan with employer match. 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. Staff members, staff from the financial services firm that administers the 403(b) plan and external financial planning experts provide financial planning information and training to employees. The EAP provides access to CPA’s, online financial access tools, and certified financial planners. Employees are offered short- and long-term leave of absences without pay for caregiving needs. WVUH employees working 20-plus hours per week are offered on-site child care as well as backup care to assist with child care and eldercare. Referral services to assist with child care and eldercare are offered to all employees.
  • Benefits/Alternative Work Arrangements: Flextime, compressed work schedules, job sharing, telecommuting and a formal phased retirement program are alternative work arrangements offered to all employees. Full-time employees are eligible to move to part-time work on a permanent or temporary basis.
  • Opportunities for Retirees: WVUH has an individual directly responsible for retiree relations. The hospital stays connected with its retirees by communicating on a regular basis, 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 free flu shots and can take classes through the WVUH Wellness Program. The following work arrangements are offered to retirees: temporary work assignments, consulting or contract work, telecommuting, and full- and part-time work.

  •  Age of Workforce: Twenty-seven percent of WVUH employees are age 50-plus. The average tenure of employees age 50-plus is 14.6 years.

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

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