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2011 Best Employers

WellStar Health System

This health care network greatly expanded benefits in response to employee feedback

Winning Years: 2011, 2009
Industry: Hospitals/Healthcare
Location: Marietta, Ga.

Employees age 55 and over, as well as retirees and their family members, benefit from WellStar Health System's Good Life Club. For a minimal fee, members of the club enjoy discounts on valuable services through special programs designed to address their health needs such as health screenings and other routine testing for medical conditions. In addition, members receive discounts on medications and prescription glasses, seminars are presented on topics such as financial planning and retirement concerns, group travel for a variety of interests are promoted, special celebrations are held, and the club is a recruiting tool for volunteers and employees at all of the WellStar locations.

See also: How the 2011 Best Employers winners were selected.

Additional Policies and Practices:

Recruiting: WellStar uses senior placement agencies to target mature workers and retirees. In addition, WellStar is a part of the AARP National Employer Team, which helps connect mature workers with organizations that value their abilities and experience. As an active member of this team, WellStar participates in and hosts functions to assist workers age 50 and over in finding employment opportunities at WellStar and in the community.

Workplace Culture/Continued Opportunities: Employees working 16 or more hours per week are eligible for a tuition reimbursement benefit, while full- and part-time employees are offered certification classes, leadership training, in-house classroom training and online training.

Long-service anniversaries are celebrated with announcements, parties, gifts and awards.

Because of feedback from employee opinion surveys, WellStar implemented the following benefits: pension enhancements, free employee health immunizations and vaccines, free income tax preparation, concierge services, paid maternity and paternity leave, expanded bereavement leave policy and job guaranteed time off to 36 months, increased tuition assistance, on-site apothecary with discounted prescription medicines, group purchasing savings through Purchasing Power and WellStar Cents, expanded wellness program, employees-only career site, and a back-up care advantage program for children, grandchildren, aging family members, spouse and self.

Employees have opportunities to gain new experiences by working on team projects, on temporary work assignments in other departments and by participating in formal job rotation programs.

WellStar's Return to Work Department assists employees transitioning back to work after an illness, injury or an extended leave.
Benefits/Health: Employees working 16 or more hours per week receive individual and family medical and prescription drug coverage, and individual and family vision and dental insurance. Short- and long-term disability is offered to employees working 32 or more hours per week. Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) are available to assist in covering out-of-pocket health care costs. In addition, WellStar provides employees with a prescription discount when using in-house pharmacies.

Next: Financial benefits and alternative work arrangements. >>

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