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Centegra Named to AARP’s List of Best Employers for Workers 50 and Older

AARP announced on Wednesday, August 31, 2005 the list of U.S. companies named as the best employers for workers 50 and over. Centegra Health System of Woodstock, IL, was named to the list as one of 50 companies nationwide to receive the award and this is the second successive year in which Centegra has been recognized for this award. Annually AARP conducts a review of American business and industry to discover innovative programs and practices that create an environment supportive of older workers. Two other Illinois firms were named to the list including Deere and Company and Zurich North America.

In making the announcement AARP highlighted Centegra’s Alumni Nurse Program as an innovative way for keeping retired employees actively involved in an organization. The program provides an opportunity for RNs to return to the hospital to share their talent and skills in numerous roles working with staff, patients, and families. Bonnie Bayser, a current Alumni Nurse at Centegra stated, “It is a privilege and a great opportunity to still be able to make a difference in patient lives as well as helping colleagues in my retirement years.” Ms. Bayser has over 43 years of nursing experience.

“These distinguished employers have exemplary practices at a time when the value of older employees is beginning to be broadly recognized as a key resource for corporations,” said AARP CEO Bill Novelli. “Many in health care and other fields recognize that it is in their self-interest, as well as enlightened policy, to emphasize retention and recruitment of the 50 plus worker.” “Too many employers still do not recognize the advantages that older workers bring to the table,” added Novelli. “The value of these employees will become increasingly apparent as the workforce ages in the years ahead.”

Centegra Health System is committed to providing the highest levels of service quality and has focused on making enhancements to the workplace to attract and retain the best and the brightest employees. In the past two years Centegra has been noted for significant achievements in employee retention and Workforce Commitment Index as measured by the Loyalty Institute of Aon Consulting and was a finalist in last year’s Fortune Magazine Top 100 Employers. Earlier this year Centegra was recognized by U.S.News & World Report as one of the nation’s leading hospitals for treating respiratory disorders.

Centegra Health System President and CEO Michael S. Eesley stated, “as we continue to strive to make Centegra a great place to work, we do so through the dedication and commitment of our Associates, physicians, and leadership. The progression made toward our organizational vision includes the creation of a quality work environment for all individuals. We measure our success through a number of indicators; however, the greatest indicator is by observing the appreciation of every patient we serve.”

“This year’s Best Employers set high standards for practices toward older workers at a time when the value of these employees is often underestimated,” Ralph Yaniz, State Director for AARP Illinois. “It is in their self-interest, as well as enlightened policy, to emphasize retention and recruitment of the 50 plus worker as America’s workforce ages in the years ahead.” In November, AARP will release a major research report on the value of older workers – the Business Case for Workers Age 50+ by Towers Perrin, a global professional services firm. AARP is a 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. They produce AARP The Magazine, published bimonthly; AARP Bulletin, a monthly newspaper; AARP Segunda Juventud, a bimonthly magazine in Spanish and English; NRTA Live & Learn, a quarterly newsletter for 50 + educators; and a website, www.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.

Centegra Health System is the leading provider of healthcare services in the greater McHenry County region of northern Illinois. With hospitals in Woodstock and McHenry, Illinois Centegra serves a regional population of over 350,000 at over 30 locations in Illinois. In addition to acute care services that include Level II Trauma Care and Level II Nurseries, Centegra also provides physician care, rehabilitation and therapy services, clinic sites, and behavioral health services to the communities we serve.

Centegra traces its origins to the founding of the first hospital in Woodstock in 1914 and McHenry in 1956. Today Centegra Health System is comprised of nearly 3100 Associates, two medical staffs of 450 physicians, along with over 500 volunteers. Annually Centegra provides care to over 20,000 inpatients, 55,000 emergency room patients, and over 300,000 outpatient and ambulatory patients.