MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – WVU Medicine has been recognized as a Five-Diamond Employer by the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce. This designation recognizes outstanding companies in the areas of employee policies, continuing education, community service participation, and empowerment of employees.

“We are very proud to be recognized as one of the best employers in the state,” Albert Wright, president and CEO of the WVU Medicine-West Virginia University Health System, said. “We are always laser focused on providing the highest quality patient care to each and every person who walks through the doors of one of our hospitals, but, as an employer, we have to take care of the people who are directly and indirectly taking care of our patients. We cannot be the world leader in patient care, research, and education that we strive to be if we do not first take care of our own. We are honored that the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce has taken note of our efforts in that area.”   

In 2017, WVU Medicine integrated medical, dental, vision, life insurance, flexible spending accounts, employee assistance program, and COBRA benefits across the organization. Some system hospitals had never offered some of these benefits, while some had different iterations. WVU Medicine also adopted an employee tuition reimbursement program that will help families system-wide pay for their children’s education.

“As part of the submission, they asked us why we felt we should have the award, and one of the main reasons is that through all our changes, we are working as a system now,” Leeann Cerimele, WVU Medicine chief human resources officer, said. “We don’t want to be just the largest employer in the state of West Virginia, we want to be the best, the employer of choice. We want to recruit the best talent that will want to work for us for a very long time. We are committed to providing a market competitive benefits and total rewards program for all of our employees.”

This year, WVU Medicine plans to continue improving employee benefits by integrating paid time off, disability, and leave management programs, as well as retirement programs across the system. It also plans to develop a system-wide career ladder for nursing with plans to implement the program in 2019 and also create career ladder and clinical advancement programs for other areas.

The Five Diamond Award was presented on April 26 at the Chamber’s annual human resources conference in Charleston. Other awardees included Cabell-Huntington Hospital, Mon Power, West Virginia American Water, McKinley Carter Wealth Services, The Chemours Company, LLC, and March-Westin.