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July 8, 2002

Get ready for 'One Emory Healthcare'

By Jennifer Miller

Effective Jan. 1, 2003, Emory Healthcare (EHC) will become the primary employer for all Emory-related health care entities, consolidating the employees of the Emory Children’s Center, Emory Hospitals, The Emory Clinic and Wesley Woods.

The new alignment will allow Emory Healthcare to better compete with other health care systems while preserving its affiliation with the University.

“As a part of the ‘One Emory Healthcare’ strategy, all health care staff will be united under one employer: Emory Healthcare,” said John Henry, CEO of Emory Hospitals and Wesley Woods. “This change, as well as the recent appointment of John Fox as chief executive officer of Emory Healthcare, is a part of our ongoing process to integrate the health care system. The integration will help ensure we provide our patients the very best health care because we will be operating in the most cost-efficient and effective manner; and it will help ensure we attract and keep the very best employees.”

Beginning Jan. 1, EHC will:

• Unite all employees under one health care system. All staff of the children’s center, the clinic, the hospitals and Wesley Woods will be united under Emory Healthcare. The method in which employees deliver service to patients on a day-to-day basis will remain the same.

• Change the look of payroll checks. All health care staff employees will receive checks with the EHC logo printed on them. This change will not affect pay.

• Consolidate the benefits program. EHC will move from four different benefits programs to a single, restructured benefits program for all health care staff. In addition to choosing from the same medical, dental and vision benefits, eligible employees will be able to receive consistent life insurance, disability, employee education and retirement program benefits.

“We are operating at a time like no other in the history of the health care industry, just take a look at the local health care market today,” said Fox, EHC president and CEO. “Gone are the days of numerous hospitals that operate alone. In the Atlanta health care market, there are five large health care systems that operate in their place. What’s more, we are competing for the same pool of talent.”

These changes have not been made without the input of employees. Last year, focus groups and meetings were conducted with senior administrative leadership, directors/managers and frontline staff. Employees consistently expressed their desire for a single benefits package that would provide equity across the system.

“The ‘One Emory Healthcare’ strategy is a major change, but it will have a positive impact on the health care system,” said Peg Bloomquist, associate administrator for Emory Hospitals. “The change will benefit patients and employees, as well as help us manage various administrative costs—a constant concern in this tight market.”

Employees will continue to receive additional information during the next few months, including a series of newsletters titled “Emory Healthcare in Action.”