Recognized as one of Montreal's Top Employers (2018)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 31, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Shriners Hospitals for Children was selected as one of Montreal's Top Employers (2018):
- Shriners Hospitals for Children helps employees achieve better work-life balance with 4 weeks of starting vacation allowance, a variety of flexible working arrangements where possible, and up to 3 paid personal days
- Shriners Hospitals for Children supports employees who are new mothers with maternity and parental leave top-up payments (to 93% of salary for up to 23 weeks), and offers parental top-up to fathers and adoptive parents -- employees also have the option to extend their leave into an unpaid leave of absence
- Shriners Hospitals for Children encourages ongoing employee development with tuition subsidies for courses taken at outside institutions, and a variety of in-house and online training programs, including apprenticeship opportunities
It's all in the family at Shriners Hospitals for Children - Canada
If anyone is in the position to talk about Shriners Hospitals for Children - Canada, located in Montréal, it's Alice Arabian. A Laboratory Technician, Arabian started at the hospital right after graduation -- 40 years ago. "It was pretty obvious to me that I wanted to be in a research environment," she says, "which is the only thing I was suited for."
Some things have changed dramatically over the last four decades -- not the least of which is the size of the hospital. "When I first started, we were just 10 people in the lab; then it went up to 50, 60 people -- more at times," says Arabian.
And since moving to its new building in 2015, the hospital has more than doubled in space, increased outpatient services and rehabilitation services by more than 35 per cent and hired 26 per cent more staff members.
The hospital serves children from across the country and the northeast United States living with complex or chronic orthopedic conditions. So it is hardly surprising that a family feeling permeates the entire staff as well. Jacques Boissonneault joined Shriners Hospitals for Children - Canada as Executive Director in June 2017, with more than 30 years experience in Québec's health and social services network.
"I discovered a new world in this hospital," he says. "People feel comfortable here. There's a lot of heart, family spirit, looking out for each other. We believe in our people and offer them many opportunities for learning and professional growth."
"Knowing a lot of different people that come from different countries has been very enriching," says Arabian. Another factor is the state-of-the-art equipment and evolving technologies, which the staff are encouraged to use. And a clean, bright, new building doesn't hurt either. In addition, for Arabian and other researchers, consistent grants and support is an enormous advantage of Shriners Hospitals for Children. "That doesn't happen a lot in other research environments," she adds.
And despite the growing numbers of employees, Arabian adds, "we still keep that close-knit environment." As an employer, Boissonneault says, that environment helps make the hospital what it is and is something he wants to build on. "The staff is very proud of what we achieve here, very proud of what we do for the kids and very proud of the place they work," he adds. "It's something you feel the minute you walk through the front door."