Recognized as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2022):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 24, 2022)
Here are some of the reasons why Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, The was selected as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2022):
- As part of the organization's flexible benefits plan, Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation employees receive funds of up to 6.25 per cent of their salary to allocate for coverage as needed (a minimum of $4,500 per year)
- Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation's time off policy includes three weeks of starting vacation, moving to four weeks after only three years on the job, and up to five paid personal days annually, which can be scheduled as needed -- additionally, employees receive paid time off during the summer months, separate from vacation allowance
- Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation supports employees who are new mothers with maternity leave top-up payments, to 95 per cent of salary for up to 17 weeks
The RAHF’s support extends beyond hospital walls
When Yuki Richardson started her first job at the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation (RAHF) over 15 years ago, she was a financial officer with a bachelor of commerce degree. Since then, she has pursued and received her designation as a chartered professional accountant as well as earned an MBA, and she’s currently working toward a doctorate in business administration – all fully paid for by the foundation.
“My boss here of 14 years was a businessperson and knew the importance of education,” says Richardson, now vice president of finance and operations and CFO. “In terms of professional development, the foundation is 100 per cent supportive. I’m really appreciative so I’ve tried to work hard and be dedicated to this organization because it has supported me so much.”
The foundation supports several specialized centres and funds education, cutting-edge research and technologies as well as facility enhancements at the Edmonton-based Royal Alexandra Hospital.
Rishma Karmali is a development associate on the major gifts team who has worked at the Foundation for – cumulatively – nine years. “I had come back after a long stint of being away from working – I had had two children in three years,” she says. “I was nervous. I told my husband I didn’t have any experience anymore.”
Karmali called her former boss at RAHF to ask for a reference to help her slowly re-enter the workforce. Soon after, he called with a job offer. “There was so much flexibility,” she says. “I have a husband who travels quite a bit so they created a custom schedule for me so I could pick up and drop off my kids and still continue to work full time. It was fantastic.”
That kind of consideration runs through the organization, both women say. “People respect each other and care for each other,” says Richardson. “If something happens in someone’s family, we all come together for support. It’s that kind of spirit here.”
When the executive team saw employees working so hard but struggling mentally during the COVID-19 pandemic, they gave everyone every Friday off with pay during July so they could enjoy a little more summertime. “We appreciate the staff, and they appreciate us back by working hard,” she adds. “So it’s a win-win.”
The work of RAHF itself, both for the hospital and for the community at large, keeps everyone engaged. “Especially during COVID-19, the hospital needed a lot of things, so we tried to accommodate,” Richardson explains. “We have a robust procedure for approving funding, and sometimes the volume of work is immense. But when we can see how much it’s appreciated, how much of a difference it’s made, it’s worth it.”
Part of the foundation’s purpose is to fundraise for initiatives outside the hospital walls. Those have included a program to help educate people of different backgrounds about heart health, one for at-risk women, and an Addiction and Mental Health Access 24/7 service centre for the community.
Karmali fundraises specifically for the neonatal intensive care unit and has contact with donors; she sees the impact of their dollars. “It’s near and dear to me,” she says. “I feel very fortunate to be able to do this work. I do feel like I’m making a difference.”