UNM Hospitals is one of 50 employers around the country named by AARP as one of the Best Employers for Workers over 50. The award, now in its sixth year, was established by AARP to honor employers showing a commitment to an aging workforce.

AARP invites employers to apply for the designation by submitting an application describing their exemplary practices toward 50 and over workers.

Key areas of consideration are: recruiting practices, opportunities for training, education and career development; workplace accommodations; alternative work options, such as flexible scheduling, job sharing, and phased retirement; employee health and pension benefits; retiree benefits, and age diversity of the workforce.

UNM Hospitals offers its 50+ workers: continued learning and development opportunities including tuition reimbursement, in-house training and certification classes; a 403 (B) defined retirement plan to both full and part-time employees, and employees age 50 plus can make ‘catch-up' contributions to their 403 (B) account and invest in lifecycle funds; alternative work arrangements such as job sharing and compressed work schedules; and both full and part-time employees receive individual and family medical coverage.

"Innovative employers are starting to recognize the important role older workers can play in their organization," said Gil Martinez, AARP New Mexico State President. "UNM Hospitals is to be congratulated for participating in AARP's Best Employers search and for undergoing a tough evaluation process."

Martinez said while many firms value 50 plus workers for their experience, motivation, and strong engagement, other employers still need to recognize the advantages that those workers bring to the table.

"At UNM Hospitals we value all of our employees. Our ability to retain and recruit an experienced workforce is key to our success," said Jim Pendergast, administrator for Human Resources at UNMH. "We are actively planning on bringing additional experienced workers -- such as nurses and other allied health professionals -- back to work with flexible schedules and updated training."

Pendergast added, "This has been made possible through the diligent work of Dr. Paul Roth, the University of New Mexico Executive Vice President for Health Sciences, and Steve McKernan, CEO, UNM Hospitals."

Across the country, 60 percent of the winners in the search come from the healthcare sector, including hospitals, and 64 percent are either private, non-profit or not-for-profit organizations.

University of New Mexico Hospitals and the other awardees will be honored at a dinner in Chicago September 21. In connection with the event, AARP will convene a working conference of employers the next day to identify challenges and solutions associated with the aging of the workforce.AARP The Magazinewill feature the Best Employers winners in its November-December issue.


Contact: Sam Giammo, 272-3322