The phrase "It's a great day to be a West Virginian" was passed around a lot at the Erikson Alumni Center in Morgantown on Monday. Three employers from North Central West Virginia were recognized by AARP for being in the top 50 nationwide for employing senior citizens.
Among the top 15 was Mon General Hospital.
"If you look at the population as a whole in the next couple decades the population over 50 is going to double or triple, we know that," said Darryl Duncan, the President and CEO of Mon Health Systems. "Already at Mon Health System our folks over the age of 50 make up 35 percent of our workforce. So it's important that we focus on that group and make sure that we keep them as long as we can."
WVU was not only number seven on the list out of the top 50 companies listed, but Margaret Phillips, in Human Resources at WVU, received a national Human Resources Professional of the Year award for excellence in her field.
"We did a lot of really innovative programs. Believe me I attribute the fact that we received this award to a really, really great staff that works with me," said Philips. "The directors and professionals in the staff and the human resources at WVU."
Gaylene Miller, from AARP said that the point of honoring these employers is to hopefully make other state employers follow suit.
"Well again, I think we are going to highlight those best practices so that other employers can learn from that and hopefully replicate those kinds of packages," said Miller, the West Virginia State Director at AARP. "Whether it's job sharing or creating some unique benefit packages."
Duncan said that they strive to be on this list. He also said that if the employees are happy the patient will be, too.
"We're a healthcare giver but we're also a large employer. So you have to focus on your people. We're very paternalistic organization," said Duncan. "We believe if we take care of our employees, they'll take care of our patients."
WVU ranked on the list at number seven, WVU Hospitals number 12 and Mon General came in at number 15.