Saint Peter’s Healthcare Recognized for Worker’s Compensation and Disability Management Efforts

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The organization receives a national award for the reduction of workplace accidents and the mental well-being of employees

New Brunswick’s Saint Peter’s health care system won the Theodore Roosevelt Award for Workplace Injury and Disability Management, also known as the Teddy Award. The Teddy Award, established in 1994, was named in honor of President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, who introduced the first major workers’ compensation law in the United States.

Saint Peter’s has been recognized as the 2021 Teddy Award winner with Jet Blue Airways Corporation, General Mills and the City of Philadelphia.

Passionate about creating an unrivaled workers’ compensation program, Saint Peter’s enhanced its employee injury prevention program, significantly expanded employee health and wellness initiatives, and implemented a workers’ compensation program with an employee advocacy approach. The healthcare system received the Teddy Award for its comprehensive workplace safety program which significantly reduced employee injuries over a four-year period and for its dynamic return-to-work program and mental wellness support employees.

According to award sponsor PMA Companies, Teddy Award-winning companies have several fundamental characteristics in common, including doing everything possible to protect their most valuable asset – their employees – and working daily to reduce risk in the workplace. of work.

“Saint Peter’s is very proud to receive the Teddy Award,” said Leslie D. Hirsch, FACHE, President and CEO of Saint Peter’s Healthcare System. “Our top priority has always been to ensure the physical, mental and emotional well-being of our employees. Receiving this national honor reinforces the results of our efforts to keep our workforce safe, and being recognized in a year marked by additional challenges brought on by the pandemic, makes the award even more more meaningful. “

The organization’s return-to-work program allows injured workers to accept modified assignments, even outside of their departments, until they are ready to resume their normal responsibilities. In addition to this engaging and creative return to work program, the healthcare system has developed an occupational safety program focused on preventing common hospital injuries, such as strains, slips and falls, and fatigue caused by the challenges resulting from the pandemic.

“Our return to work program laid the groundwork for a successful reassignment of our employees to new temporary roles created during the pandemic,” said Linda Vance, RN, BSN, COHN-S / CM, Health Officer of employees at the Saint Peter’s health system. . “For example, we have reassigned nurses from hospital units or outpatient areas to care for an increased number of patients in COVID units or to administer COVID vaccines to our community through our COVID vaccination clinics. The philosophy behind our return to work program has allowed our employees to transition easily and safely to new work environments until we can re-integrate them into their unit or department. This has proven to be a benefit not only for our employees, but also for our patients and the community for an unprecedented time. “

At the height of the pandemic, Saint Peter’s mobilized an Incident Response Team that met daily, quickly implementing new safety protocols and disseminating information on maintaining a healthy environment and safe and reducing the spread of the coronavirus. Meanwhile, nurses in Saint Peter have started a support group called “Masks Off” to help deal with the emotional toll of the pandemic. In addition, the organization’s Employee Assistance Program offered unlimited private counseling sessions to employees. “Sanctuary” spaces have also been created to offer employees a respite from the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic and allow them to recharge their batteries in a relaxing environment.

“Small actions and a commitment to understanding how to prevent employee injuries while building employee resilience can lead to a successful workers’ compensation program,” said Vance. “Start with one employee at a time; one injury or one circumstance at a time. We have done this and our employees and patients continue to benefit from these efforts.

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