Hopkins Health System gets EEOC work award

The Baltimore Sun

Johns Hopkins Health System was recognized yesterday for its workplace programs designed to better handle employee disputes, increase job opportunities for disabled youths, and to provide promotion advancements and skills training for service workers.

Johns Hopkins was one of five recipients of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's third annual Freedom to Compete Award, which recognizes private and public employers for best workplace practices promoting access and inclusion.

The Baltimore employer's workplace initiatives are the "types of things that have proven not only to be the right thing to do but it's been good for business," said Ronald R. Peterson, president of Johns Hopkins Health System, which oversees health care subsidiaries including Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and Howard County General Hospital.

The health system employs about 15,000 workers. The workplace initiatives highlighted by the EEOC are primarily based at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where there are about 8,700 employees, Peterson said.

They include:

An initiative that handles discrimination complaints through the EEOC mediation program, an alternative to the traditional investigative or litigation process. Ninety percent of discrimination charges have been resolved without an investigation.

Start on Success program provides internships and mentors for Baltimore City public school students with disabilities to help them make the transition to work. So far, 41 students have been placed in internships, with a 90 percent completion rate. Of those students, 51 percent have found jobs, including at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Project REACH (Resources and Education for the Advancement of Careers at Hopkins) provides entry-level employees skills training during work hours so they can move to higher-skilled positions, such as in pharmacy, radiology and as surgical technicians.

Johns Hopkins Skills Enhancement Program provides workers with on-site classes in English as a second language, basic math, GED preparation and medical terminology and Microsoft software application.

Other recipients of yesterday's award include the Internal Revenue Service; the city of Norfolk, Va.; Emory Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta; and Abilities Inc., a disability advocacy organization in New York.


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