VCU Health System Named a 2010 Working Mother 100 Best Company

The Virginia Commonwealth University Health System today was selected for inclusion in the Working Mother 100 Best Companies initiative as one of the nation’s top companies for family-friendly benefits.

This is the sixth time the VCU Health System has been recognized by Working Mother for its dedication to family-friendly benefits, support and wellness opportunities and financial assistance programs like tuition reimbursement and retirement planning.

“This award is extremely meaningful to us because it acknowledges our strong culture for placing our employees at the very center of everything we do," said Maria Curran, vice president of human resources for the VCU Health System.

“This isn't just a human resources award, it's an award that can be celebrated across the system, because without across-the-board commitment to our workforce, none of our achievements would be possible," Curran said.

The VCU Health System was recognized for several initiatives, including its dedication to the advancement of women and education assistance to employees and dependents.

For instance, the WISDM—Women in Science, Dentistry and Medicine Organization, furthers the professional goals of women physicians, scientists, dentists and administrators. For 18 years, the organization has facilitated an annual leadership conference, and through collaboration, WISDM encourages networking and mentoring between faculty, administrators and students.

The VCU Health System’s commitment to helping employees achieve their professional advancement goals extends to employees’ dependents as well. Its education assistance program allows full-time employees to take up to 18 credit hours per fiscal year. Their dependents may take up to 12 credit hours per year at VCU.

In 2009, VCUHS helped 903 employees and 150 dependents through the education assistance program, giving nearly $4.2 million to help them advance their knowledge.

In addition, the VCU Health System encourages employees to seek flexible work options and manage home and professional responsibilities. When benefited employees start work, they immediately begin accruing paid time off, up to 27 days their first year.

As employment continues, employees can earn up to 43 days of paid time off per year. Employees are encouraged to enjoy the flexibility to use and schedule the paid time off, giving them the opportunity to tailor the benefit to meet their personal needs.

“My mother was a physician and had to quit working because part-time wasn’t available to her,” said Joyce Beltran-Keeling, M.D., Women’s Health Primary Care, Department of Internal Medicine, and mother of two. “It’s critical for my daughter to see that handling both a medical career and childcare is possible – it’s important for her to see me strike a healthy balance.”

Effective communication with employees also is a strategic priority as Richmond’s largest private employer. Regularly held quarterly town hall meetings feature top management who provide employees with updates about the organization, its people and the work environment.

The interactive quarterly meetings are held three times a day for three or more days. Times are scheduled to accommodate off shift employees as well. Similarly, monthly management group meetings provide managers with timely updates that they can share with their staff. Presentations and materials that are shared at these meetings also are made available on the Intranet.

"We are pleased to count VCU Health System as one of the Working Mother 100 Best Companies for 2010," said Carol Evans, president, Working Mother Media. "Scheduling freedom abounds for working-family employees here, helping them achieve a better balance between work and home."

Companies were selected for the 2010 Working Mother 100 Best Companies based on an extensive application with more than 600 questions on workforce, compensation, child care, flexibility programs, leave policies and more.  It also surveys the usage, availability and tracking of programs, as well as the accountability of managers who oversee them.

Seven areas were measured and scored including workforce profile, benefits, women’s issues and advancement, child care, flexible work, parental leave and company culture. For this year’s 100 Best, particular weight was given to benefits, flexibility and parental leave. 

The VCU Health System, which previously earned this recognition from Working Mother in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009, is the governing body for the hospitals and clinics of VCU as well as MCV Physicians and the Virginia Premier Medicaid HMO. The VCU Health System is designated a Magnet institution, the highest honor and level of recognition awarded for nursing excellence in national and international health care.

Founded in 1979, Working Mother magazine reaches nearly 3 million readers and is the only national magazine for career-committed mothers. Profiles of the 100 Best Companies, as well as national comparisons, are in the October issue of Working Mother and at

About VCU and VCU Medical Center

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 226 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-seven of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see