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Best Employers for Workers Over 50

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2009 AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50

Pinnacle Health System

Winning Years: 2009, 2007, 2006
Industry: Hospitals/Health care
Location: Harrisburg, Pa.

Highlights of 2009 Winning Strategies

This year, Pinnacle Health System makes its third appearance on AARP's list of Best Employers for Workers Over 50. Pinnacle offers its employees a formal mentoring program, which pairs an experienced, mature employee with a relatively new employee. The junior employees look to their mentors for leadership, teaching, and guidance to prepare themselves for opportunities for professional growth, such as promotions. The program recognizes the talents and experience the mentor brings to the relationship while supporting Pinnacle's leadership-development and diversity objectives. Thirty-two percent of the health system's employees are age 50+.

Workplace Culture and Continued Opportunities: Pinnacle Health System offers full- and part-time employees the following learning and development opportunities: tuition reimbursement, in-house classroom training, online training, certification classes, seminars and workshops, and outside professional conferences. Tuition reimbursement is available to employees working at least 16 hours per week. In 2008, 98 percent of Pinnacle employees took part in at least one development opportunity, with the average employee spending 10 hours in training.
Pinnacle recognizes long-service anniversaries with announcements, parties, awards, and during staff luncheons. Employees who celebrate five years of service are recognized at a luncheon and receive a gift of their choice. Pinnacle awards those with 20 or more years of service by giving them a luncheon at the Hilton Hotel.

Pinnacle employees develop new skills through temporary assignments in other departments, team projects, continued training and education, and the formal mentoring program.

The health system is also dedicated to helping mature employees stay in the workforce by accommodating their physical needs. Workplace modifications, such as large-screen monitors, amplifiers, telephone headsets, and access to ergonomic specialists, have helped employees stay with the organization and perform their job duties well.

Benefits/Health: Pinnacle offers its employees working at least 16 hours per week the following health benefits: individual and family medical and prescription-drug coverage, individual and family vision and dental coverage, and short-term disability coverage. All employees, regardless of the number of hours they work per week, are eligible for individual and family long-term-care insurance. Employees working at least 30 hours per week are eligible for long-term disability.  The health system provides flexible spending accounts (FSA) to employees to help them cover their out-of-pocket health-care costs. Retirees under or above age 65, and new hires (upon retirement), are eligible for individual life insurance.

Benefits/Financial: Pinnacle offers its employees an employer-matched 403(b) defined-contribution plan and a money-purchase defined-contribution plan. All employees, regardless of hours worked, are eligible for the 403(b) plan, while employees working at least 16 hours per week are eligible for the money-purchase defined-contribution plan. Full- and part-time employees can invest in life-cycle funds, and employees age 50+ are eligible to make catch-up contributions. Members of the health system’s staff, an on-site representative from the financial-services company that manages the defined-contribution fund, external financial-planning experts, and seminars at the Credit Union, provide financial-planning information for employees.


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