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Saint Vincent Health System of Erie, Pennsylvania Named One of AARP 2007 Best Employers for Workers Over 50

Top Western PA Health System Creating Exemplary Policies Toward 50+ Employees

AARP The Magazine to Feature Best Employers in November-December Issue

ERIE, Pa., Sept. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A number of employers across the country, including Saint Vincent Health System are demonstrating that enlightened policies toward 50+ employees make good business sense, based on the 2007 list of AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50.

"Employers that take a world class approach in their policies toward 50 and over workers understand that the result is more productive employees," said AARP State Director Dick Chevrefils while announcing Pennsylvania's winners.

Saint Vincent Health System remains on the cutting edge in recognizing the demographic shift expected by the retirements of many in the Boomer generation. AARP believes that innovative practices to retain and recruit workers are crucial in the face of potential long-term workforce shortages. Currently, thirty-three percent of Saint Vincent employees are 50+ and the average tenure of employees age 50+ is 17.3 years. The health system has over 500 retirees and stays connected with its retirees by communicating regularly, providing retirement planning, as well as offering temporary work assignments, consulting/contract work, telecommuting, and part-time work.

"We are proud to be named as one of AARP's Best Employers for Workers Over 50. As a proven leader in the healthcare field, we have a loyal and dedicated workforce who is caring and compassionate with the patients we serve. We are committed to recruiting and retaining 50 and over staff and offering them a competitive salary and benefits programs," said C. Angela Bontempo, President and CEO of Saint Vincent Health System CEO."

Saint Vincent Health Center is a 436 bed not-for-profit tertiary care facility located in Erie, PA. Saint Vincent, founded in 1875 by the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania as the area's first hospital is now the region's third largest employer with 2,900 employees.

Saint Vincent has earned national recognition as a health care quality leader by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations, and The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council. The hospital has consistently scored in the top ten percent among hospitals in the nation on a number of quality measures.

According to a new AARP international study on the global workforce, G7 countries face significant and widening talent gap as global workforce ages. The study, conducted by the global consulting firm Towers Perrin, found that as the number of workers reaching traditional retirement years increase, the marketplace is experiencing a decline in the number of skilled younger workers available to fill in the ranks of those retiring. Even as companies and governments implement policies to address this talent gap, the older worker faces an unwelcoming environment. "Focusing on the employee's personal needs pays dividends," added Chevrefils. "It is important that more employers -- both large and small -- recognize the tremendous assets of 50+ employees and the level of skill and experience they bring to the workplace."

Other Pennsylvania companies who were acknowledged for their forward thinking policies included the Pinnacle Health System based in Central Pennsylvania; as well as Vanguard and Frankford Candy & Chocolate Company based in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Each gained honors in what is the seventh year of AARP's annual Best Employers search.

The Best Employers winners will be honored at a dinner in New York, NY on September 26, 2007. A CEO roundtable discussion focusing on a new AARP study examining best practices for meeting the needs of 50+ workers among international and multinational corporations representing G7 countries will take place earlier that day. An international conference -- titled "Profit From Experience" -- will follow on September 27, 2007, also in New York, NY.

Learn more about the top ten Best Employers winners in the November-December issue of AARP The Magazine.

AARP invites employers to apply for the Best Employers honor by submitting an application outlining their exemplary policies and practices toward 50 and over workers.

Candidates undergo extensive vetting prior to final selections. Key areas of consideration include: recruiting practices; opportunities for training, education and career development; workplace accommodations; alternative work options, such as flexible scheduling, job sharing, and phased retirement; employee health and pension benefits; retiree benefits; and age diversity of the workforce.

2007 AARP Best Employers Winners

Rank, Name City, State

1. SC Johnson Racine, WI

2. Mercy Health System Janesville, WI

3. First Horizon National Corporation Memphis, TN

4. Scripps Health San Diego, CA

5. Stanley Consultants Muscatine, IA

6. Lee Memorial Health System Fort Myers, FL

7. Leesburg Regional Medical Center & Leesburg, FL

The Villages Regional Hospital

8. George Mason University Fairfax, VA

9. Principal Financial Group Des Moines, IA

10. Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, MA

11. MidMichigan Health Midland, MI

12. Bon Secours Richmond Health System Richmond, VA

13. The YMCA of Greater Rochester Rochester, NY

14. Brevard Public Schools Viera, FL

15. Atlantic Health Morristown, NJ

16. ACUITY Sheboygan, WI

17. Volkswagen of America, Inc. Auburn Hills, MI

18. Saint Vincent Health System Erie, PA

19. Trinitas Hospital Elizabeth, NJ

20. Securian St. Paul, MN

21. Argonne National Laboratory Argonne, IL

22. Pinnacle Health System Harrisburg, PA

23. The Aerospace Corporation El Segundo, CA

24. Cornell University Ithaca, NY

25. Pinnacol Assurance Denver, CO

26. Jennings Center for Older Adults Garfield Heights, OH

27. John Deere Moline, IL

28. Bon Secours St. Francis Health System Greenville, SC

29. Centegra Health System Crystal Lake, IL

30. Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA

31. Durham Regional Hospital Durham, NC

32. Rush-Copley Medical Center Aurora, IL

33. Monongalia General Hospital Morgantown, WV

34. Saint Barnabas Health Care Organization West Orange, NJ

35. Express Personnel Services Oklahoma City, OK

36. Ochsner Health System New Orleans, LA

37. Intuitive Research and Huntsville, AL

Technology Corporation

38. Hospice of Marion County & Ocala, FL

Affiliated Companies

39. West Virginia University Hospitals Morgantown, WV

40. University of Texas M. D. Houston, TX

Anderson Cancer Center

41. Scottsdale Healthcare Scottsdale, AZ

42. Vanguard Valley Forge, PA

43. Fairfield Medical Center Lancaster, OH

44. Michelin North America Greenville, SC

45. St. John Health Warren, MI

46. Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Chicago, IL

47. Noblis, Inc. (formerly Mitretek Systems) Falls Church, VA

48. Frankford Candy & Chocolate Co. Philadelphia, PA

49. Centers for New Horizons Chicago, IL

50. Girl Scouts of Nassau County Garden City, NY

About AARP

AARP has 1.8 million members in Pennsylvania. AARP is a 39 million member nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization 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, published bimonthly; AARP Bulletin, our monthly newspaper; AARP Segunda Juventud, our bimonthly magazine in Spanish and English; NRTA Live & Learn, our quarterly newsletter for 50+ educators; and our website, 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.

SOURCE AARP Pennsylvania
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