St. Bernards Finds Rewards Within Its Work

The staff of St. Bernards Medical Center in Jonesboro takes its mission of service to the community to heart. Among the center’s many efforts to create a positive and pleasant work environment are initiatives for performing community service.

It all adds up to make St. Bernards one of the honorees in Arkansas Business’ Best Places to Work 2013.

“For us, connecting the dots, it’s very important to us to have happy, engaged employees,” said Jacque Hurd, St. Bernards vice president of human resources. “It has a direct correlation to our patient care and quality of care.”

The nonprofit medical center was founded by the Olivetan Benedictine Sisters in 1900, when the first patient was admitted to what was a six-room house serving as the hospital. The history of community involvement extends to St. Bernards initiatives like paid time for community service and encouragement to participate in United Way, March of Dimes, blood drives, breast cancer awareness events, Relay for Life and health screenings in the community.

The community work gives employees a sense of belonging and engagement.

“The stewardship, where they’re able to go out and work in community service projects and represent St. Bernards,” she said. “And those happen every week basically. There is not a lack of need for us to have our employees step up and volunteer their services.”

While the community work is rewarding to everyone, St. Bernards has ways of saying thanks to the employees. Children’s Christmas parties, cookouts, community discounts, job swap days and free Christmas gift wrapping are among the many ways St. Bernards shows its appreciation and encourages workers to appreciate each other.

“There is a tremendous sense of servitude here. We try not to take things for granted,” Hurd said. “All this is not for profit so everything is turned back into the operation to make it better. It’s turned back into staff, it’s tuned back into equipment, it’s turned back into services that help the community.”

It’s A Wrap

For those who are all thumbs at gift-wrapping, St. Bernards Medical Center has a wrinkle-free solution.

For two days during Christmas season employees can use the hospital’s free (and popular) gift wrapping service.

Members of St. Bernards leadership do the work while the paper, bows and ribbons are free. Employees drop their gifts off at the beginning of a shift and pick them up when it’s time to go home.

“It’s a way for the leadership to give back,” Vice President of Human Resources Jacque Hurd said. “There are a lot of men that participate in that program as well. And then there’s a sense of humbleness that comes along with the things we do.”