Creating a Culture of Care and Support
May 11, 2011
Maria Guyette, SVP Human Resources
American Cancer Society Eastern Division
The American Cancer Society
The largest funder of cancer research outside of the federal
government - over $4 billion to date
44 Nobel prize winners
30 Hope Lodges and counting
24-hour call center - 150 languages supported
6,000+ employees nationwide
The Eastern Division – NY & NJ
21 regional offices, 530+ employees, thousands of volunteers
3 Hope Lodges – Buffalo, Rochester and Manhattan
250 Patient Navigators in 90 health systems
On track to reach 60,000 unique constituents in 2011
$100 M raised to fund our mission
You Know us As…
But, can you…..
Cancer is our Core Business
•It’s personal.
•Most staff members (and volunteers)
have a personal cancer experience
•We think about it, talk about it, and
witness it every day
Cancer is our Core Business
A Culture of Care and Support
• Our goal is to be as flexible as possible, as
often as possible, in as many cases as
• Balance legality, productivity, and fiscal
• Seek solutions that are repeatable, printable
and defensible
A Culture of Care and Support
• Policies – benefits & leave policies
• Practices – flexibility & performance
• People - managers & peers
• Perceptions – fairness & consistency
Policies – Benefits & Leave
• Medical plans meet the Cancer Gold Standard
• Health Advocate – our “insurance concierge”
• Employee Assistance Program
• Combine FMLA/ Disability, PTO/accrued leave,
flexible work arrangements to maximize paid
Practices – Flexibility
• Alternate work arrangements
o Work from home, telecommute
o Flex time, flex schedules, flex roles
• Flexibility is encouraged, earned (not entitled),
and evaluated
People –
Managers & Peers
•Managers must be comfortable differentiating
decisions and owning messages
o Consistent does not mean “cookie cutter”
•Culture of communication - “C4” conversations
•Care must extend to co-workers too
Perceptions (and precedents)
•Managing perceptions, maintaining
•No trust, no chance !
•Beware halos and horns biases – “are we
establishing a precedent we are committed to
following in like cases going forward?”
Case Study #1
Long term employee with history of chronic cancer ;
hospitalization followed by extended recuperation .
• Extended leave beyond 3 months
• Allowed gradual, PT return to work post STD period –
full pay via SCB days
• Flexibility, WFH, to manage “good days, bad days”
• Employee dictated workload, skilled manager
guided expectations
Case Study #2
Employee’s child faced a 5-year battle with terminal
• Loaned laptop and cell phone to enable work from
out of town treatment center as possible thus
“stretching” FMLA and PTO
• Flexible schedule, assignments, WFH, to care for
• Co-workers donated PTO when EE had exhausted
own time
Case Study #3
Employee’s child has serious health condition.
•Maximum flexibility enabling EE to work from
hospital when feasible
•Interim appointment of hi-potential direct report
extended leave time (while meeting business needs)
•RTW in a different role between leave periods
•Co-workers donated PTO when EE had exhausted
own time (2 consecutive years)
Resources to Help
• For you and your managers: 1.800.227.2345 and
• What should I say to my co-worker who has cancer?
• What about confidentiality?
• A list of dos and don’ts
• What resources are available to help?
• When treatment begins, what should I expect?
• How can I make it easier for my employee to cope?
ACS and Quest Diagnostics
•Surya Mohapatra, Ph.D, co-chair of American
Cancer Society CEO’s Against Cancer – NJ
•ACS & Quest members of CEO Cancer Roundtable
•Achieved Cancer Gold Standard accreditation
•CPS-3 on site participation in six locations
•ACS selected by Quest employees as national
charity for 3-year term
Creating a Culture of Care and
Thank you!
Maria Guyette,SVP Human Resources
American Cancer Society Eastern Division