San Diego – Scripps Health is the No. 1 company on the 2011 AARP Best Employers for Workers 50 and Older, and the first California-based employer to be selected as the top employer in the decade-long program.
“We are very proud of AARP’s selection of Scripps as number one in the country. This validates all of our efforts to be a great place to work and a great place to receive medical care,” said Chris Van Gorder, Scripps Health president and CEO. “We value all of our employees and each person provides enormous value to our organization and patients regardless of age. But there is something special about our more senior members of the team, as they bring both education and experience to the job.”
Scripps Health, with five hospital campuses and 23 outpatient clinics, has been honored by AARP seven times over the past decade. In addition to an array of alternative work arrangements such as flex-time, a phased retirement program, and a formal job rotation program, Scripps has a strong wellness program and generous health benefits for employees under and over age 65.
“We consider Scripps to be a career destination company, therefore we design our human resources programs to appeal to all people, no matter what stage of life they may be in,” said Vic Buzachero, corporate senior vice president for innovation, human resources and performance management. “Approximately 36 percent of the Scripps workforce is age 50 or older, and we work hard to retain them because the knowledge they pass down ultimately results in better outcomes for our patients.”
The health system has designed a “phased retirement” program that assists employees from age 55 to 70 as they move toward retirement. At the same time, Scripps maintains an ongoing relationship with retirees to facilitate their return if future job opportunities develop.
Anita Porter, 71, has been with Scripps for 47 years and has worked at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas for the past 36 years. Just within the past year, Porter, a surgery scheduler, modified her work schedule to three days a week. And although she now works part-time, Porter continues to receive full-time benefits.
“Working part-time for Scripps helps keep my mind active and keeps me on top of my game. I was afraid that if I retired completely that my world would get smaller,” said Porter. “I can’t say enough about Scripps — it is my home away from home and I absolutely love it.”
Scripps unseated Cornell University — which placed second this year — for the top honors. Cornell has been named the AARP’s top U.S. employer for workers 50 and older for the past two consecutive years.
“Scripps Health, Cornell and other employers on the list consistently recognize the value of, and have demonstrated exemplary policies for older workers,” said Jean Setzfand, AARP’s Vice President for Financial Security, in announcing the winners. “These companies and institutions deserve to be honored after their years of progressive practices that both meet the needs of mature workers and benefit their organizations as well.”
The top 10 Best Employers this year will be profiled in the November issue of AARP The Magazine. And the 50 winners — as well as 15 AARP International Best Employers — will be honored at a dinner Sept. 13 in Chicago.
For a full list and more information on the 2011 Best Employers, please see www.aarp.org/bestemployers. The website includes background on each employer’s workforce practices and a description of the selection process.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world’s largest-circulation magazine with over 35.1 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP’s millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.