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Waynesboro Hospital one of state's best places to work

December 21, 2003|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

Kenneth L. Shur, vice president and chief operating officer at Waynesboro Hospital, brought 50 employees with him to an awards presentation banquet in Hershey, Pa., Dec. 2.

The hospital came home with an award for being named the third best place to work in Pennsylvania.

About 700 people from around the state attended the banquet, Shur said. None of the attendees knew until that night where the hospital would be ranked, only that it had made the list of the 50 best places in Pennsylvania to work for businesses with more than 250 employees.

The hospital has 521 employees, 331 of whom are full-time.

"We were on the list, but the big question was where on the list were we," Shur said.

Earlier this year, the hospital sent an application to the eight-agency conglomerate sponsoring the competition. Those agencies included the Team Pennsylvan!a Foundation, the Central Pennsylvania Business Journal and the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

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Shur said he learned that the hospital had made the top 50 list when he was on vacation in the Outer Banks. "I was so excited I couldn't sleep that night," he said. "I told my wife, Donna, that I didn't care where we came in as long it wasn't 50th."

There were eight hospitals on the list, including Waynesboro.

Shur said when the emcee at the banquet began counting down the list, he remembered thinking that he'd like to come in ahead of the other hospitals.

"They got down to 25 and we still had not been called," he said. "We really started to get excited when they reached 10. My palms were sweaty and my heart was pumping. They got to five, then four, and we still weren't called. I figured at that point we might as well be number one."

When Waynesboro was named number three, the local hospital employees whooped in excitement, he said.

"What I'm proudest of is that the scoring was driven by feedback from the employees. They were sent surveys in the mail that they filled out and sent back. I didn't see them myself," he said. "This is a reflection on the community, the hospital board and caliber of the people who work here."

Employee comments represent 75 percent of the basis for which a company is chosen for an award.

Waynesboro Hospital has a 2.5 percent vacancy rate, well below the 15 percent to 18 percent norm for the industry, he said.

Camilla Lourdon, 40, is a radiology technologist. She has worked for the hospital for 14 years.

Her aunt, Ruth Shilling, an X-ray technician, used to bring Camilla to work there when she was a child. "I've been running around the X-ray room since I was 4 years old," she said. "My aunt told me when I was in junior high that this is what I was going to do."

She got her training at Hagerstown Community College.

Lourdon said she believes the hospital won the honor because it is family oriented. "Families come first. Co-workers help each other out all the time," she said.

Cynthia Paino, 35, office manager in the rehabilitation and sports medicine department, has worked in the hospital for a year and a half. She moved to Waynesboro from the Binghamton, N.Y., area. Her sister, Connie Duffey, an RN in the emergency room, urged her to apply for a job.

"Not only are the benefits good, but the people here are so friendly. It's just a lot of little things," Paino said.

Shur said the hospital will celebrate the award with an employee luncheon. Employees will also be given monogrammed polo shirts signifying the award which also will be noted in employment ads. Billboards will soon be seen around town boasting of the award, he said.

"It all translates into better patient care," Shur said.

A second Franklin County firm, F&M Trust Co. with headquarters in Chambersburg, Pa., came in 12th on the state's list for companies with fewer than 250 employees.

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