Editor’s Note: This article has been corrected. Full-time workers must have averaged 60 hours per pay period (two weeks) — not per week — to receive the bonus.
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Ballad Health Chairman and CEO Alan Levine announced Wednesday the health system will provide bonuses in the form of two-time installments to both full-time and part-time workers.
According to Levine, full-time Ballad team members who averaged 60 hours per pay period (two weeks) from July 4 through Jan. 31 will receive $750 in March and $500 in July for a $1,250 total.
Part-time workers will receive $375 in March and $250 in July for a total of $625, Levine stated in a Facebook post. All team members must work at Ballad during the disbursement periods.
Levine said following previous COVID-19 case surges, the system started to see an increase in staff turnover.
“There’s been enormous damage to the health delivery system all over the country in the last two years,” Levine said. “The labor shortages have gotten materially worse during COVID, and it’s going to take time for the healthcare system in our country to rebuild the supply of healthcare professionals that are needed.”
Compass ONE partners will receive the same bonuses, according to Levine. Ensemble Health Partners and STAT Information Solutions associates working in a Ballad hospital are also eligible for the bonus.
“I recognize some people with Ensemble Health Partners do not work in our hospitals but do support us and other health systems in other ways,” Levine posted. “We are grateful that Ensemble Health Partners has incentive and bonus programs which benefit you, as you so well deserve.”
The bonuses do not apply to executive vice presidents or the CEO, Levine stated. He noted that team members should direct questions regarding individual circumstances to human resources.
Team members in May will also be eligible for a paid time off (PTO) cash-out up to 40 hours to be paid in May, according to Levine.
Levine announced the bonuses after Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, Attorney General Jason Miyares, Secretary of Health and Human Resources John Littel and Virginia Sen. Todd Pillion visited Abingdon’s Johnston Memorial Hospital on Monday.
“I have to admit, I was a bit amused by how nervous some of our folks were when they met the Governor,” Levine stated in the Facebook post. “But I will tell you, Governor Youngkin was so much more inspired by you than you can possibly imagine. Our team members were the celebrities, not the Governor. He was there to celebrate YOU.”
The ongoing omicron variant has burdened hospital staff at Ballad facilities, Levine noted. Ballad team members continue to care for patients inside the facilities as well as those who opt for the Safe at Home program.
“Did you know that, even as our team has taken care of thousands of people inside our hospitals suffering with COVID, we also have a team who has cared for more than 5,600 people at home – through our Safe at Home program?” Levine posted. “This program has helped keep several thousand people from requiring admission to the hospital, thus reducing the burden on our inpatient clinical care team. There is no reimbursement or payment for this program.
“Ballad Health implemented it because it was the right thing to do, and several of our colleagues have gone about caring for these people, focused on keeping them well enough to not be hospitalized. This is but one example of the unsung heroes, many of whom volunteered their time, to help our fellow citizens, and to support our nurses and clinicians.”
Another program includes Ballad’s Helping Hands, which aims to assist overwhelmed clinical staff.
“…Hundreds of our fellow colleagues who are not clinical have taken on the added role of assisting our clinical staff wherever they can,” Levine posted. “Again – heroes who have asked for nothing in return.”
Levine said this year alone between wage increases and special bonuses for team members, they’ve spent over $120 million.
“It’s going to take time to rebuild,” Levine said. “We need everybody that’s here to stay, and to continue to stay on with us.”