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SMH Wins Three Awards For Workplace Excellence

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St. Mary’s Hospital has hit three home runs for health care by winning the 2009 Workplace Excellence Award, the Health and Wellness Trailblazer Award and the EcoLeadership Award through the Alliance for Workplace Excellence.

“Our vision is to be the employer of choice and these awards came in part from the feedback of our employees, which makes the achievement all the more rewarding,” said Joan Gelrud, vice president at St. Mary’s Hospital.  “We will not stop working to be the premier workplace for our premier workforce.” 


The Alliance for Workplace Excellence is a non-profit organization that focuses on making companies in the greater Washington, D.C., area excellent places to work. 

The first award, the Workplace Excellence Award, examines a company’s “outstanding commitment to balanced leadership and the overall success of their workforce.” St. Mary’s Hospital was one of 57 businesses that received the award in the region. The hospital, among other things, holds quarterly meetings so employees can ask questions to hospital President and CEO Christine R. Wray; hosts quarterly Breakfast with the CEO events; leads department huddles to discuss time-sensitive information with the hospital’s leadership; and offers an array of information such as newsletters, policies and more available to employees.

The hospital was one of 27 businesses that received the Health and Wellness Trailblazer Award. The award focused on “employers who provide innovative programs for employee health and wellness.” St. Mary’s Hospital offers Employee Health services with a nurse practitioner or registered nurse available to see employees; free smoking/tobacco cessation medication available to employees and family members; a month of paid health insurance premiums for employees who reach a set goal in a We CARE About Your Health wellness program; and targeted publications based on an employee’s health conditions.

The final award, which the hospital was one of 19 to receive, is the EcoLeadership Award, for companies that are “paving the way for environmentally sustainable workplaces.” The hospital, under the guidance of the “Green Team,” recently began a large-scale recycling program; converted to eco-friendly cleaning products; started using biodegradable cups and containers in the cafeteria that turn back into dirt in 45 days; changed over to lower wattage, energy-efficient light bulbs; and made other building adjustments to “go green.”

Hospital representatives will officially receive the awards at the Alliance for Workplace Excellence’s Annual Awards Luncheon on June 3, 2009. 

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