We are committed to helping our employees and their families establish and maintain good health. To help them, we offer comprehensive health and dental benefits that are quite simply among the most robust that we know of. Taking health care to a higher level, we encourage our employees to embrace a proactive role in improving their health by offering incentives for preventive care measures, such as annual checkups, weight loss and smoking cessation. In fact, prevention has become one of our defining mantras, and our creative approach to providing a breadth and depth of health offerings has earned us distinction as a regional and national leader. Affirming our commitment, VCUHS was recognized as a gold-level company by the American Heart Association (AHA) as a 2012 Fit-Friendly Worksite. The recognition signifies our commitment to establishing a culture of fitness for our cherished employees. And while we know that our abundant benefits play a big role in our recruitment and retention efforts, the bottom line is that we offer them because our employees deserve them. Every day, our employees are ready to face whatever challenges await them. They do the heavy lifting, they jump hurdles, they run the gauntlets and they tackle the most complex and difficult cases in a challenging urban environment. In return, we provide programs that can help them catch their breath, let off steam and maybe even put their feet up.
Employer Assisted Housing Program (EAHP)
Navigating the homebuying process from start to finish can be challenging for even the most market-savvy people. To help guide the way, our EAHP provides homebuying education on subjects from pre-purchase through post-purchase, including avoiding contractor fraud and foreclosure prevention. The program includes monthly workshops and quarterly homeownership seminars. During 2012, 200 employees took advantage of these educational workshops and advanced their knowledge in the complexities of home buying. This program also features down payment assistance for employees who make less than $40,000 annually and meet other requirements. We are proud to say that during 2012, we granted $52,500 in down payment assistance to 10 applicants.
Financial Literacy Workshops
During 2012, scores of employees took advantage of our financial literacy workshops, which include the “Financial Fitness” and “Financial Fitness 4 Teens” programs. “Financial Fitness” is a 2.5 hour workshop that addresses fundamental practices for effective money management, including budgeting income, controlling credit card debt, improving credit scores and setting goals. This class aims to motivate employees to embrace these essential practices and gain control over their personal finances. The workshops are free and open to VCUHS employees and their guests. In its second year, “Financial Fitness 4 Teens” is a four-class series designed to help teens make conscious decisions about budgeting, spending, saving, investing and identifying good debt vs. bad debt. Classes are designed to promote open dialogue about financial concepts and practices by providing a shared experience for employees and their teens. The classes are free and open to VCUHS employees and their teen guests.
Our corporate wellness program addresses the wellness and fitness of our employees so that they can be more effective, both at work and at home. The program includes:
• Discounted access to all VCU recreational sports facilities
• On-site chair massages
• Free flu shots
• Smoking cessation classes and supplies
• Weight Watchers at Work®
• On-site fitness classes at two locations
• Employee-only pharmacy
• On-site wellness seminars
• Poison control and other resources
HelpLink Employee Assistance Program
HelpLink, our Employee Assistance Program (EAP), is a benefit offered to employees and their household members. Confidential consultations (up to five visits per issue) with an internal or external EAP provider are available at no cost. Counselors help employees set and keep goals such as improving health and wellness, learning stress management skills, considering career options and managing work-life balance. HelpLink providers also assist with other personal or job-related stressors, including effective parenting and family coping skills, grief and loss, and achieving healthy marital/intimate relationships. Consultations with supervisors regarding difficult worksite situations also are offered.
The Rainbow Society
The Rainbow Society is funded by a grant from the MCVH Auxiliary of the VCU Health System as well as through generous employee donations. Created in 2002 as the result of a call for help by an employee facing financial challenges, The Rainbow Society provides grants to employees who, due to unforeseen circumstances, need help in avoiding evictions, foreclosures, or disconnected power or utilities; in recovering after a fire or other disaster; or in defraying funeral and bereavement costs. In 2012, The Rainbow Society provided support to 244 employees through financial assistance and leave share for a total distribution of more than $46,802. And 34 employees and their families were “adopted” by VCUHS departments for the holidays, receiving food and gifts.
MCVH Auxiliary of the VCUHS
This year, the MCVH Auxiliary of the VCU Health System awarded grants totaling $271,727.50 — more than ever before. Included in this figure is $25,000, which the Auxiliary awarded to The Rainbow Society to help employees who are facing hardship. The Auxiliary supports the health system in numerous ways, including financial support, which helps units and departments improve patient and family care.
Leave Share Program
The Leave Share program allows employees to help their coworkers during times of need by donating their PTO to those who are out for long periods due to illness or injury, after they have exhausted their own leave time. Leave Share makes it possible for employees to maintain an income for themselves and their families while they are out of work. In 2012, employees donated 5,037 hours of time to the Leave Share Program, and 4,362 hours were paid to recipients.
Our MYLife Program extends discounts on local services and products to VCUHS employees. Employees simply need to contact or visit participating businesses and present their employee IDs. Participating services include:
• Automobile rentals
• Banking and personal finances
• Cell phone
• Child care centers
• Fitness centers
• Personal care/grooming/spa
• Pet care
• Housekeeping and landscaping
• Real estate and relocation
• Home repair and maintenance
In 2012, we partnered with PerksCard, as an extension to our MYLife Program. Through PerksCard, our employees gained access to an additional 47 vendors in the Greater Richmond area and more than 190 retailers statewide. PerksCard also offers employees access to discounts throughout the United States. Discounts can be located through VCUHS’ PerksCard internet landing page or by downloading the free PerksConnect mobile app. Employees also receive Daily Deals e-mails alerting them to limited time special offers from area businesses. Since PerksCard was launched in September, more than 950 employees have registered to use this valuable service.
Discount travel benefit
Our employees deserve to take time away from work to relax and recharge. In 2012, VCUHS partnered with Travel Counsellors, Inc. to provide employees with access to first class tours at bargain prices. Travel packages include trips to almost any destination worldwide and special packages feature air, hotel, transfers and more.
We don’t want our employees to sweat the small stuff, especially if it’s something our friendly and helpful concierge can help with, such as:
• Movie tickets and restaurant reservations
• Healthy meals to go
• Holiday meal ordering and delivery
• Services for home, child and pet sitting
• Gifts, balloons and flowers
VCUHS offers employees an easy (and carbon footprint-reducing) way to do their grocery shopping! By partnering with Relay Foods, our employees have access to a multitude of local grocers, farmers, farmers’ markets, specialty shops, caterers and vendors. They simply place their online orders and select their delivery location and day — or home delivery, if that’s preferred! We have even established a pickup site at our on-site Family Care Center, which also is located across the street from our on-site VCU Recreational Sports and Aquatic Center.