Originally created 12/16/05

Hospital's staff will get bonuses



Winding up an eventful year, University Hospital is looking to reward its employees.

At its monthly meeting Thursday, the hospital's board approved year-end bonuses for its employees.

Full-time employees will get $250, part-time will get $125 and pool nurses will get $67.50.

The hospital officially winds up its fiscal year next month but was already heading toward a healthy financial performance.

As of Nov. 30, it was clearing a margin of $26.5 million, more than $5 million above its budgeted goal. That was aided by about $5 million the hospital cleared from cashing in its share in a partnership that owned its medical buildings, Chief Financial Officer Robert Taylor said.

"It's most unusual," he said.

But it was also aided by higher numbers of patients admitted to the hospitals and visiting its clinics, which is probably a result of the hospital's decision to begin accepting Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia this year, he said.

But the bonus was about more than just financial performance, said J. Larry Read, the CEO of University Health Care System. He praised the employee response to the Graniteville train crash in January, with "our folks coming in literally by the hundreds in the middle of the night" to care for victims. And the hospital earned a number of service recognitions, including the Magnet designation for nursing excellence by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

"If you add all of those up, that's the best year we've ever had," Mr. Read said.

Reach Tom Corwin at (706) 823-3213 or tom.corwin@augustachronicle.com.