VA Maryland Health Care System Named One of Baltimore’s Best Places to Work

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The Baltimore Business Journal has named the VA Maryland Health Care System as one of Baltimore's Best Places to Work for an organization with 500 or more employees. The federal health care system ranked second in this year's competition, rising from fourth place in 2008.

As a Federal agency, we don’t have the resources available like in the private sector to enhance employee morale, but our overall mission, competitive salaries, generous benefits, employee recognition, strong leadership and cutting edge technology have enabled us to attract and retain some of the most talented staff in the health care industry

The Baltimore Business Journal has named the VA Maryland Health Care System as one of Baltimore’s Best Places to Work for an organization with 500 or more employees. Competing with other business, hospitals, universities, and financial institutions across the state for the honor, the VA Maryland Health Care System ranked second in this year’s competition, ahead of the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, which ranked third, and earning the unique distinction of being the only Federal agency in Maryland named among Baltimore’s Best Places to Work in 2009. MedStar Health ranked first in the competition.

“As a Federal agency, we don’t have the resources available like in the private sector to enhance employee morale, but our overall mission, competitive salaries, generous benefits, employee recognition, strong leadership and cutting edge technology have enabled us to attract and retain some of the most talented staff in the health care industry,” said Dennis H. Smith, director of the VA Maryland Health Care System.

The competition included companies from Baltimore and the five surrounding counties (Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard Counties) and was based on employee responses to an online survey that was conducted by the Baltimore Business Journal for a three-week period. Employees answered questions about job satisfaction, management style and trustworthiness, and their own job performance during the anonymous survey.

The VA Maryland Health Care System, which consists of two medical centers, one extended care and rehabilitation center and five community based outpatient clinics, employees approximately 3,000 clinical, technical, administrative and support personnel throughout the state. As a leader in education, the health care system prides itself on an active affiliation with the University of Maryland School of Medicine and other local colleges and universities. Over 1,100 residents, interns and students from various disciplines are trained throughout the health care system each year. Additionally, most of the physicians who work for the VA Maryland Health Care System hold dual appointments at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. This close alliance allows the health care system to offer veterans the latest clinical practices and procedures available.

“Every day when I come to work, I like knowing that I’m doing something that benefits our nation’s veterans. I also enjoy working for an organization that treats me with dignity and not as a statistic,” said Mary Barcikowski, the business manager for Public and Community Relations whose career with the health care system spans 19 years.

“We’ve had great leadership who support our research program,” said David E. Johnson, PhD, deputy associate director of research and development for the VA Maryland Health Care System who has worked for the health care system for 39 years. “We also have a great team of research investigators here who focus on improving veterans’ health.”

Christopher T. Bever, MD, the associate chief of research and development for the VA Maryland Health Care System and a 23-year employee, echoes Dr. Johnson sentiment. “This has been a great place to work. As director of the Multiple Sceloris Center of Excellence, it’s been wonderful working with people focused on serving our veterans with MS and improving what we can do for them,” said Dr. Bever.

This is the third such honor for the VA Maryland Health Care System, which achieved a fourth place ranking in the 2008 Best Places to Work in Baltimore competition. http://www.maryland.va.gov

The VA Maryland Health Care System (VAMHCS) provides a broad spectrum of medical, surgical, rehabilitative, mental health and outpatient care to veterans at two medical centers, one rehabilitation & extended care center and five outpatient clinics located throughout the state. More than 52,000 veterans from various generations receive care from the VAHMCS annually. Nationally recognized for its state-of-the-art technology and quality patient care, the VAHMCS is proud of its reputation as a leader in veterans’ health care, research and education.

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