Published on April 01, 2019

Reading Hospital Employee Engagement Initiative Benefits Community and Employees

Committed to advancing health and transforming lives, Reading Hospital continues to grow an innovative Employee Engagement Initiative that benefits the community and employees alike.

The initiative is the brainchild of Desha Dickson, Reading Hospital Associate Vice President for Community Wellness. Knowing that Reading Hospital employees had the desire to become more engaged in the community but faced the challenge of time, Dickson created the initiative in March 2012 to provide employees with an opportunity to participate in one volunteer activity per calendar year during their normal workday.

"The Employee Engagement Initiative demonstrates Reading Hospital's steadfast commitment to the community," said William M. Jennings, President and CEO of Reading Hospital. "This community has so many organizations that are providing important services to local residents, and we are proud to support their efforts in this way. Our employees are able to interact and meet new people, while also giving back to our community through service" he said.

Since the program's inception, hundreds of Reading Hospital employees have donated well over 1,000 volunteer hours to a wide range of organizations, including Nolde Forest, Berks Encore, Centro Hispano, American Red Cross, Animal Rescue League and Humane Society of Berks County. This year, volunteer activities include painting and gardening at a local elementary school, spring cleanup at the Humane Society, volunteering with children and teens at Easterseals Camp Lily, and serving as mentors for the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance Career Ready Lunch Mentorship program.

Community organizations express their appreciation for the assistance, and employees enjoy their time as well. "I loved volunteering at the Animal Rescue League with the cats and dogs," one employee said. "I got attached and I actually purchased a cat to take home for my family."

Organizations interested in learning more about partnerships with Reading Hospital for the Employee Engagement Initiative can email communitywellness@towerhealth.org.