Physician Health

Why these 2 health systems are among nation’s top workplaces

Andis Robeznieks , Senior News Writer

The excellence of the care delivered to patients by Atlantic Health System and Baptist Health South Florida has been well recognized by publications such as U.S. News and World Report and others. Both are also consistently named among the best places for their employees and staff to work.

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The two organizations—both members of the AMA Health System Program—made Fortune magazine’s “40 Best Large Workplaces in Health Care” list this year, while both made the “100 Best Companies to Work For” list in 2022. Baptist Health, based in Coral Gables, made the 100-best list 23 times. Atlantic Health, based in Morristown, New Jersey, has made that list 14 times. Both health systems also were named to the “40 Best Large Workplaces in Health Care” list in 2022.

Less than 60% of employees at a typical U.S. company say they work at a great company, Fortune notes. For Atlantic Health, it was 88% and, at Baptist Health South Florida, that figure was 81%.

Here are some other 2022 statistics for Baptist Health South Florida:

  • 89% of the system’s nearly 26,000 employees said they “feel good about the ways we contribute to the community.”
  • 89% said: “When you join the company, you are made to feel welcome.”
  • 88% said: “I’m proud to tell others I work here.”

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For Atlantic Health:

  • 93% of the system’s team of approximately 16,000 full- and part-time people said: “I’m proud to tell others I work here.”
  • 93% also said: “I feel good about the ways we contribute to the community.”
  • 93% said: “When you join the company, you are made to feel welcome.”

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Supporting Atlantic Health’s 4,800 affiliated physicians and other members of the front-line clinical team is a way to differentiate the system from competitors because doing well by team members would translate into better care for patients, according to Nikki Sumpter, Atlantic Health’s chief administrative officer.

“This has been a real journey for Atlantic Health over the last 14, 15 years of trying to make sure that we have a workplace where our entire team could come to work and feel valued and supported to be able to do the mission-critical work that they were trained to do,” she said.

Steven Sheris, MD, Atlantic Health’s executive vice president and chief physician executive, agreed.

“Atlantic Health has realized that the best health systems, those that deliver the best outcomes, create a team-based culture that empowers everybody on the care team,” said Dr. Sheris, who is also president of the Atlantic Medical Group.

“Our physician community realizes that they can't do it alone,” he said. “And that’s really what the secret sauce is for Atlantic’s success—how we empower everybody to really be at their best professionally and provide the resources that our team members need to grow professionally.”

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Dr. Sheris said Atlantic Health’s keys to reducing physician burnout include improving workflows and removing unnecessary processes.

“We revise processes that don’t add value,” he said. “I'm a big proponent of looking at our systems and processes to make decision making more agile.”

While about 75% of Atlantic Health’s labor force has been with the organization for less than 10 years, Fortune notes that 12% have worked for the organization for more than 20 years.

“We have some folks who’ve been here 50 years—that doesn’t happen by accident,” Sumpter said.

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At Baptist Health South Florida, 79% of employees have a tenure of less than 10 years, while 6% have been working there for more than 20 years. According to Fortune, 8% of employees have been with the system for 11–15 years.

“Baptist Health recognizes as a core cultural element the importance of establishing and maintaining a positive, welcoming and healthy environment, not just for our patients and the community, but for our employees as well,” said Jack Ziffer, PhD, MD, MSSCT, executive vice president, chief clinical officer and chief physician executive for Baptist Health South Florida.

Dr. Ziffer has responsibility for all strategic, operational and policy matters for Baptist Health’s physician initiatives and enterprises. His focus is coordinating vision, strategy and operations among the physician leadership for the system, concentrating on its clinical centers of excellence and primary care and pursuing the highest quality, destination healthcare for all its patients.

“The culture at Baptist Health is cherished; we believe that the overall wellbeing of all of our employees directly affects the experience of our patients,” added Dr. Ziffer, the founding leader of Baptist Health Medical Group. “This is why we foster systemwide programs to address the physical, emotional and social needs of our workforce and our community.”