SAN DIEGO – Scripps Health has been ranked No. 2 in the nation in AARP’s 2008 listing of the 50 Best Employers for Workers Over 50, while Working Mother magazine has named Scripps Health to its 2008 list of America’s 100 Best Companies for its family-friendly policies.
The selections will be published in the October issues of AARP The Magazine and Working Mother. Scripps Health is the only San Diego-based organization to be named to either of these national lists in 2008 and was AARP’s highest-ranked California employer this year. Scripps Health has been included on the AARP list for five consecutive years and the Working Mother list for four straight years.
AARP recognized Scripps for creating policies that value its mature workers, including its employee wellness program, flexible work schedules, opportunities for training and career development and benefits for current and retired employees. Working Mother cited Scripps for establishing a work environment that is attractive to all women, particularly working mothers, with policies such as job sharing, telecommuting and flextime.
Mature and female employees are an important part of Scripps’ workforce. Approximately 47 percent of Scripps’ employees are age 50 or older, and more than 13 percent of Scripps’ new hires last year were age 50 or older. In addition, 71 percent of Scripps’ employees are women.
Scripps recovery specialist Colene Absalom, 66, credits Scripps’ employee wellness program with helping her break a lifelong smoking habit. “Reaching my senior years, I want to feel great, I don’t want to feel tired and miss out on things,” Absalom said. “This program is really helping me achieve what I want out of my life. It’s made a big difference in the way I look and feel; I haven’t smoked for two years now and my family loves it.”
New mothers and Scripps nurses Barbara Kelley, R.N., and Christina Danner, R.N., said they appreciate Scripps’ flexibility with their work schedules. Since giving birth, both have moved from full-time to part-time status, enabling them to balance their professional careers with family life. “When I left for maternity leave, my supervisor said ‘let me know what you want to do when you return and we’ll work it out,’ which was very comforting to hear,” Kelley said. “Now I feel like I have the best of both worlds, where I can grow in my career at my own speed, while being able to spend more time with my baby.”
Danner said flexible scheduling was an important consideration when she joined Scripps. “The combination of work and family time is ideal for me,” Danner said. “I still work two days a week so I feel connected professionally, but having the ability to spend time with my son has been awesome.”
Vic Buzachero, senior vice president of human resources for Scripps Health, said Scripps considers the full life cycles of employees and solicits their input before designing benefits packages. “We have a diverse workforce, so our approach is to offer our employees a wide range of benefits to choose from, to help them through the various cycles of their lives and careers,” Buzachero said.
Scripps Health achieved high marks in a workforce satisfaction survey earlier this year. The vast majority of Scripps’ 12,300 employees – 86 percent – reported in 2008 they agree that Scripps Health is a great place to work. In January 2008, Scripps was named to FORTUNE magazine’s list of America’s 100 Best Companies to Work For, marking the first time a San Diego health care provider has been included on this prestigious national ranking.
Scripps Health President and CEO Chris Van Gorder said employee satisfaction can help lead to improvements in the quality of patient care. “By listening and responding to our employees’ needs, we allow them to grow within Scripps in a position that meets their needs, and our patients benefit through the care and compassion of our talented employees.”
A satisfied workforce has helped Scripps with employee retention. Approximately 27 percent of Scripps’ workforce has been with the organization for more than 10 years, and about 10 percent of employees have been with Scripps for more than 20 years.
Founded in 1924 by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps, Scripps Health is a $2 billion nonprofit community health system based in San Diego, Calif. Scripps treats a half-million patients annually through the dedication of 2,600 affiliated physicians and 12,300 employees among its five acute-care hospital campuses, home health care services, and an ambulatory care network of clinics, physician offices and outpatient centers.
Recognized as a leader in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, Scripps is also at the forefront of clinical research and graduate medical education. In 2007, Scripps committed more than $150 million in capital and facility improvements across the San Diego region while providing significant charity care to the community – more than $236 million in uncompensated care in 2007. Scripps Health Foundation generated $74 million in charitable donations in 2007 to support the Scripps mission.
Scripps Health includes: Scripps Green Hospital, Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas, Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, two Scripps Mercy Hospital campuses, 10 Scripps Clinic locations, eight Scripps Coastal Medical Center locations, Scripps Home Health Care Services and Scripps Clinical Research Services.