HUDSON HEALTH PLAN WINS THE 2005 DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. CORPORATE AWARD FOR DIVERSITY
Award to be Presented by the YWCA of White Plains and Central Westchester
on June 7th at its Salute to Women & Racial Justice Luncheon
TARRYTOWN, NY, April, 22, 2005 - In recognition of its commitment to a culture of diversity and inclusion, Hudson Health Plan has won the 2005 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Corporate Award from the YWCA of White Plains and Central Westchester. Criteria for this highly competitive honor include valuing diversity as an organizational asset, implementing processes to successfully attract and develop diverse employees, and creating an inclusive workplace. The award will be presented to Hudson Health Plan at the Salute to Women & Racial Justice Luncheon at the Hilton Rye Town in Rye Brook, NY, on June 7, 2005."We are honored to win this prestigious award," says Georganne Chapin, President and CEO of Hudson Health Plan, who will accept the award on behalf of the company. "Diversity is a core value of Hudson Health Plan, along with respect, responsibility, excellence and community, and it's wonderful to be recognized by an organization that shares our commitment to principles of inclusiveness and empowerment. We hope Hudson Health Plan can serve as a model for other organizations that seek to create diverse and supportive workplaces." Cultivating diversity has helped Hudson Health Plan grow from serving 100 members in 1989 to more than 53,000 members today. The not-for-profit organization provides Medicaid Managed Care, Child Health Plus, and Family Health Plus to residents of the lower Hudson Valley, including 37,000 individuals in Westchester. By hiring employees from the same communities where its members live, Hudson Health Plan significantly reduces the cultural barriers between members and the Plan's nurse case managers, customer service representatives, and marketing representatives. The majority of the not-for-profit organization's clients are members of ethnic minority groups, and every effort is made to accommodate special linguistic or cultural needs. A Message from the Top The company's commitment to diversity starts with Ms. Chapin, who sets the tone in her own attitude and actions. She studied anthropology at Barnard College and her appreciation for cultural differences are evident in the way she runs her organization. "The composition of our senior management team sends the message to all employees that different backgrounds and perspectives are highly valued and are integral to the organization's success." Additionally, she says, all managers are measured by their cultural sensitivity to the people around them. Employees witness diversity in action in many ways. All offices, including the Plan's headquarters in Tarrytown and five satellite officers, are decorated with paintings, photographs, and objects produced by African-American, Cuban, Mexican, South American, Caribbean, indigenous Hawaiian, and other ethnic artists. The subject of diversity is emphasized during new-hire training and is reinforced on the company's internal materials and Web site. But merely hiring a diverse workforce is not enough to create a culture where differences are valued, Ms. Chapin notes. It is also necessary to be committed to inclusion. Therefore, after three months on the job, new Hudson Health Plan employees meet with Human Resources to discuss their performance and role in the organization and to express any concerns they might have. To help employees to function in the organization's multicultural, multilingual environment, Hudson Health Plan offers occasional on-site conversation classes in English and Spanish. A class on perfecting English writing skills is available as well.Employees without access to the Internet at their desk are encouraged to take advantage of computers set up for their use in the company's Resource Room. "By striving to identify ways to make it easy for everyone to participate and feel comfortable on the job, we have made diversity a principle that is so ingrained in the Hudson Health Plan culture that it has become second nature to its staff at all levels," Ms. Chapin says. About Hudson Health Plan
Hudson Health Plan, based in Tarrytown, NY, has more than 53,000 members in Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester counties in the lower Hudson Valley. In addition to standard health benefits, Hudson Health Plan members are offered case management programs and services at no charge, such as "Breathing Easy" for asthma sufferers and "Mommy & Me" for expectant mothers and newborns. Services, such as regular preventive medical care, emergency medical services; substance abuse services; speech, vision, and hearing services; prescription drugs, durable medical equipment, lab work, and X-rays are offered without a co-payment. In December 2003, Hudson Health Plan won the New York Health Plan Association's Community Leadership Award for its Prenatal Care Initiative and in the 2004 "Consumer's Guide to Medicaid Managed Care in the Hudson Valley", Hudson Health Plan received the highest rating of any Hudson Valley plan on "General Satisfaction with Health Plan."