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Bon Secours Richmond Named No. 4 Health System in U.S. for Older Workers

Only Health System in Virginia on AARP’s list

RICHMOND, Va. (Sept. 15, 2009) – The Bon Secours Richmond Health System today announced it is ranked the No. 4 health system in the country for the 2009 AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50 annual award program. The health system has been recognized by AARP yearly since 2003.

Due to the increased number of applications received representing healthcare and in acknowledgement of how the industry is ahead of the curve in recruiting and retaining mature workers, AARP designated a separate healthcare list which includes hospitals and healthcare-related organizations. The designation is treated no differently than the multi-industry list of 50.

“Recognition as the No. 4 health system in the United States from the esteemed AARP is a true honor,” said Peter J. Bernard, CEO of Bon Secours Virginia, which is comprised of both Bon Secours Richmond and Bon Secours Hampton Roads. “As a healthcare system rooted in Catholic beliefs, we hold the utmost respect for life and the value of each individual. Our older employees serve as mentors to our younger workers and carry with them the experiences and knowledge that have strengthened and transformed our culture into a world-class environment. And as someone in this age range myself, I can attest to the fact that Bon Secours Richmond does place a high emphasis on ensuring the needs of its oldest workers are met and exceeded so employment can continue well past traditional retirement ages.”

AARP recognized Bon Secours Richmond for winning strategies in several specific areas including:

  • Recruiting
  • Workplace culture
  • Continued opportunities
  • Health
  • Financial
  • Work flexibility
  • Opportunities for retirees
A hallmark of Bon Secours Richmond’s commitment to older workers is its benefits and flexibility. At Bon Secours, health benefits are offered to all full- and part-time employees working at least 16 hours per week. In addition, alternative work arrangements offered to both full- and part-time employees include flextime, compressed-work schedules, job sharing, telecommuting, and a formal phased-retirement program. Bon Secours’ phased-retirement option gives employees three distinct retirement options:
  1. An employee can retire from the organization completely and be rehired later without jeopardizing retirement checks.
  2. An employee can “retire” at age 65 but continue working part time while collecting a pension.
  3. An employee can work past age 70½ and begin receiving a pension check regardless of status.
According to AARP, “By staying connected to its mature workers through programs…Bon Secours has been able to maintain working relationships with its age-50+ workers long into retirement.”

About Bon Secours Richmond
The Bon Secours Richmond Health System is a not-for-profit health system with four hospitals in the Richmond area: St. Mary’s Hospital, St. Francis Medical Center, Memorial Regional Medical Center and Richmond Community Hospital, as well as Bon Secours HealthSource, composed of more than 20 physician practice groups. About one-third of Bon Secours Richmond’s more than 7,000 employees are ages 50 or older, with an average tenure of 12 years.

About AARP’s Best Employers Program
The AARP “Best Employers for Workers Over 50” is an annual recognition program that awards companies and organizations whose best practices and policies for addressing the issues affecting our aging labor force create roadmaps for the workplaces of tomorrow.

Having just finished its ninth year, the program launched in 2001 with the name “AARP Best Companies for Workers Over 50. ”In 2002, the name changed to AARP’s “Best Employers for Workers Over 50” to reflect AARP’s interest in encouraging applications from a variety of employers from the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. Moreover, in order to recognize the important role that government employers play in the U.S. workforce, AARP also opened the program to public employers at the local, state, and federal levels.

The 2009 AARP Health Care Winners:
  1. Atlantic Health
  2. Lee Memorial Health System
  3. Mercy Health System
  4. Bon Secours Richmond Health System
  5. Jennings Center for Older Adults
  6. WellStar Health System
  7. Scripps Health
  8. TriHealth, Inc.
  9. University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
  10. West Virginia University Hospitals
  11. Pinnacle Health System
  12. Northern Michigan Regional Health System
  13. MidMichigan Health
  14. Central Florida Health Alliance
  15. Saint Vincent Health System

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