Friday, October 26, 2007

National Health Care Company, VHA Inc., Expands Corporate Citizenship Initiative, Signs Up 1,000 Employees for Annual Community Day


It looks like another corporation launched a big, public "hurrah" around the issue of volunteerism. These "days of caring" are seeming to become increasingly common, particularly for United Way-funded organizations that are frequently tapped for such projects (i.e. that are asked to make up something for a big donor's employees to do for six hours so that they feel validated in their support of the United Way).

I have mixed feelings about such programs. They try to maximize "bang for buck" in terms of public reaction to the company's support of the community. They are focused on the employees themselves getting the most out of the experience, not the people they are intended to help.

And yet, I am reminded of an article from PhilanthroMedia that I blogged previously, called "Volunteerism As a Lever to Promote City Revitalization."

It's a good read. And perhaps it's right -- perhaps this latest campaign is a good thing for Dallas as well as VHA.

DISCUSSION: What do you think of such corporate volunteer programs?

National Health Care Company, VHA Inc., Expands Corporate Citizenship Initiative, Signs Up 1,000 Employees for Annual Community Day

IRVING, TEXAS--(Marketwire - October 9, 2007) - Demonstrating a strong commitment to the environment and community, more than 1,000 employees of VHA Inc. and its family of companies -- Novation, Provista and Goodroe Healthcare Solutions -- joined forces with local, community-based organizations across the country today to volunteer their time for the company's annual Community Day. At least 500 Irving-based employees and 500 more from the company's 17 regional offices left their desks behind to make a positive difference in the communities where they live and work.

With the growing national call to 'think green,' some Irving-based employees are digging in on two environmental improvement projects: The Rock the River program from Keep Irving Beautiful, which includes walking the Irving waterways and collecting debris; and the Texas Trees program that involves planting and transplanting trees for a healthier community.

The focus on environmental projects and active community involvement is one part of a larger corporate citizenship effort at VHA that includes supporting earth-friendly practices as a way of creating communities that keep people healthy and safe. Just last week, VHA worked with its contracting services company, Novation, to secure discounted bulbs from GE Lighting and distributed them to employees, along with a pledge to switch at least one of their regular bulbs. The efforts, part of the ENERGY STAR® Change a Light Day campaign, resulted in more than 150 VHA employees pledging to change 1,400 light bulbs and an estimated energy savings of more than $35,000.

Local employees will tackle other projects around the community today ranging from painting, sorting clothing donations, landscaping and rejuvenating playground areas. Groups VHA is partnering with include: Buckner Children & Family Services, Dallas Heritage Village, Faith Christian School, Heart House Dallas, North Texas Food Bank and CC Young Memorial Home.

"Both VHA and its employees have made a commitment to the environment and to contributing to the communities in which we live and work," said Curt Nonomaque, VHA's president and CEO. "We believe that together, we can make a difference."

Since its inception in 2000, VHA's Community Day has generated at least 15,000 volunteer hours and more than $100,000 in donations to 80 charities. VHA's commitment to community extends beyond this annual event as well with an active volunteer program that enables employees to volunteer each month and then matches their time with a financial contribution.

To learn more about VHA's Corporate Citizenship efforts, visit www.vha.com.

About VHA Inc.

VHA Inc., based in Irving, Texas, is a national health care alliance that provides industry-leading supply chain management services and supports and promotes the formation of regional and national networks that help not-for-profit health care organizations improve their clinical and economic performance. With 17 offices across the U.S., VHA has a track record of proven results in serving more than 1,400 hospitals and more than 21,000 other health care providers nationwide.