Wayne Memorial Hospital, Nursing Home & Health Centers Enhance Staff Pay: Retention & Recruitment Incentives in “these extraordinary times”

(Honesdale, September 23, 2021)…Over the next four months, Wayne Memorial Hospital, Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers (WMCHC), and Wayne Woodlands Manor together will invest $2.75 million dollars in payment enhancements for all staff, excluding senior management. Those monies, in the form of hourly rate hikes, are intended to recognize all Wayne Memorial staff in these entities for their commitment to working in healthcare jobs during the COVID pandemic.

The hospital will also offer further enhancements to those working in critical-and-hard- to-recruit positions such as clinical staff in the acute COVID inpatient unit, the Emergency Department and COVID testing site, as well as provide “essential shift incentives” for clinical staff filling specific shifts in designated  areas.

“Our employees are our most precious resource,” said David Hoff, CEO of Wayne Memorial Hospital (WMH), “and without them we cannot fulfill our mission to care for our community in their times of need.”

In communicating the initiative, Frederick Jackson, executive director WMCHC, told his employees that “recognition of the effort you all have made professionally and personally throughout the pandemic is important. I have never been more proud of the job you all do day in and day out in service to our patients and community in these troubled times. It is an honor to be your coworker.”

The pay enhancements took effect retroactively to mid-September and will end in early January –  eight pay periods.

Both Hoff and Jackson called the payment enhancement initiative a sound investment at a critical moment in the healthcare industry.  According to the American Hospital Association and a 2021 Washington-Post-Kaiser Family Foundation survey, nearly 30% of health care workers are considering leaving their profession altogether, and nearly 60% reported impacts to their mental health stemming from their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.  WMH, Wayne Woodlands and WMCHC officials all admit to staff shortages in both clinical and non-clinical areas.

“Working in a healthcare environment, caring for people when they are sick or injured, whether you are a nurse or a lab technician, a medical assistant or a housekeeper, calls for very special skills,” said Hoff, “and we want those who do it well to continue to work in the field and to want to work for organizations such as ours that support and respect them.”

Wayne Woodlands’ Administrator Michael Freund, BSW, NHA echoed Hoff, saying, “Our hope is that these incentives show current and potential employees that we value them.  We offer a great place to work.”

None of the organizations—WMH, WMCHC and WWM— have implemented a COVID vaccine mandate, but as entities that accept Medicare and Medicaid, each would be subject to President Biden’s vaccine mandate for all healthcare workers.  Hoff and Jackson said the payment initiative was developed ahead of such a mandate and would stand regardless.

“This is a short-term plan but we hope it sends a clear and positive message to our employees present and future,” said Hoff.