Five Straight Years - Bronson is One of the Nation's Best Places for Working Moms

September 25, 2007

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – For a fifth consecutive year, Kalamazoo’s largest employer, Bronson Healthcare Group has been named by Working Mother magazine as one of the nation’s “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” for 2007.

The Working Mother 100 Best Companies celebrates employers whose groundbreaking benefits – from flexible schedules and childcare to innovative leave policies for new parents – are helping redefine workplace standards across the nation. Leading a significant and ongoing culture shift, Bronson is using company wide benefits and programs to ensure the retention and advancement of working mothers.

“What’s most important to Bronson about this recognition is that it validates our progress in achieving important goals,” said Frank J. Sardone, Bronson president and CEO. “Being a national leader in healthcare quality is dependent on our ability to attract and retain a ‘best of the best’ staff. Learning that our family-friendly programs, flexible scheduling, child care options, paid time off, educational support and other offerings are nationally ranked helps us do just that. We’re very proud of the quality of our workforce and the skills and expertise they bring to this community.”

According to Carol Evans, CEO of Working Mother Media, “Every year our winning companies raise the bar for what it means to be an employer of choice for working families. Bronson not only offers essential benefits like flextime and telecommuting – they go above and beyond with a range of best practices and policies to ease the difficulties for working parents and their families. Their supportive culture makes a huge difference to employees who want to be great moms and great workers."

The Working Mother 100 Best list includes all industries and organizations of all sizes as it recognizes those employers in the United States that have achieved excellence in the workplace environment. Bronson is one of only six companies in Michigan to be named to the 2007 list. In addition to measuring each companies’ work/life programs Working Mother also measures the success of these programs. It tracks whether employees use the programs and whether the programs get better each year.

John Hayden, vice president and chief human resources officer at Bronson, said, “We recognize that family-friendly programs are a great way to attract and retain employees. That’s why we work hard on such benefits as child care options with free referral services; generous time off and leaves of absence; and other family-friendly programs like concierge services, summer camps for kids, and memberships to the Bronson Athletic Club. In addition, many employees take advantage of flexible hours, working an eight- 10- or 12-hour shift. This equates to working three or four consecutive days followed by another three or four days off. We are also strong in our support of career advancement and continuing education for Bronson employees.”

Profiled in the October issue of Working Mother magazine, Bronson is celebrated for creating a work environment that is especially hospitable to all women, including working mothers. In making family friendly policies (including flextime, childcare and telecommuting) the norm, the 100 Best are creating corporate cultures that encourage the retention and promotion of their female employees.

In surveying the companies that applied for this year’s list, Working Mother magazine gave particular weight to questions in the following areas: finding new ways to communicate as companies meld the varying communication styles of different generations, telling employees to go home or take vacations as rested employees are productive ones, making a concerted effort to help parents with special-needs children so that parents don’t have to feel like they really can’t give their kids the care and attention they need, and benefits for everyone – not only for the top-tier, salaried employees.

Bronson representatives will join other 2007 honorees at a special ceremony in New York City on October 1-3.

Bronson was selected for the 2007 Working Mother 100 Best Companies based on an extensive application of 575 questions. The application included detailed questions about workforce, compensation, child care and flexibility programs, leave policies and more. It also checked the usage, availability and tracking of programs, as well as the accountability of managers who oversee them. Seven areas were measured and scored: workforce profile, compensation, childcare, flexibility, time off and leaves, family friendly programs, and company culture. For this year's 100 Best, particular weight was given to flexibility and family friendly policies.

For more information on the 2007 Working Mother 100 Best Companies and for a complete list of winners, visit

About Working Mother

Founded in 1979, Working Mother magazine reaches nearly 3 million readers and is the only national magazine for career mothers. Its 22 year signature initiative, Working Mother 100 Best Companies, is the most important benchmark for work/life practices in corporate America.

The publication also releases the annual list of the Best Companies for Multicultural Women in the June issue. Working Mother is published by Working Mother Media (WMM), which also owns the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE), NAFE Magazine, the annual 100 Best Companies WorkLife Congress, as well as the Best Companies for Multicultural Women Conference and regional Town Halls. In 2006, WMM acquired Diversity Best Practices, the preeminent organization for diversity thought leaders.

About Bronson Methodist Hospital

Bronson Methodist Hospital, located at 601 John St. in downtown Kalamazoo, Mich., is the flagship of Bronson Healthcare Group, a not-for-profit healthcare system serving all of southwest Michigan and northern Indiana. With 343 licensed beds and all private rooms, Bronson Methodist Hospital provides care in virtually every specialty—cardiology, orthopedics, surgery, emergency medicine, neurology, oncology—with advanced capabilities in critical care as a Level I Trauma Center; in neurological care as a JCAHO certified Primary Stroke Center; in cardiac care as the region’s only accredited Chest Pain Center; in obstetrics as the leading BirthPlace and only high-risk pregnancy center in southwest Michigan, and in pediatrics as one of only four children's hospitals in the state. The hospital is the recipient of the 2005 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation's highest presidential honor for quality and organizational performance excellence, and was named one of the nation's 100 Top Hospitals for 2005 by Solucient.

Bronson Healthcare Group is one of Kalamazoo’s largest employers. For five consecutive years, it has been ranked by Working Mother magazine and for three straight years by FORTUNE as one of the nation’s 100 best companies to work for. With a workforce of more than 4,100, Bronson makes a significant contribution to the local economy. Annually, Bronson provides more than $48 million in community benefits through outreach and charitable care for the un- and under-insured. Bronson also serves the largest percentage of Medicaid patients of any Michigan hospital outside of the Detroit area.