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25 Years Later, Work-Life Balance Still Important to Valley Health

After millions of diaper changes and thousands of preschool graduates, Valley Health celebrated the 25th anniversary of its Child Care Center.

WINCHESTER, Va. – After millions of diaper changes and thousands of preschool graduates, Valley Health celebrated the 25th anniversary of its Child Care Center.  

“We’re both physicians. [My husband is] employed by Valley Health. I’m in private practice. We have schedules that are very different and very difficult,” said Dr. Yekaterina Rabkin, who uses the Valley Health Child Care Center. “Before we came here, we used to have a net of people caring for our son, who was the only one back then."

The center watches over children from six weeks to 12 years old. It is an exclusive perk to Valley Health employees, and one of the only resources like it in the area.

"Back in the 1980s it was a very popular thing for hospitals to create an affiliated child care program,” said Trena Fisher, Director of the Child Care Center. “[Now,] many of them, across the nation, have outsourced their child care centers [to] other management, or have actually closed their doors.”

The Child Care Center has been so successful that employees are now seeing a second generation come through its doors. Valley Health employees who grew up coming to the center are now bringing their own children as they try to balance a career and family life.

"At Valley Health, like at all organizations across the country, we are trying to attract high caliber individuals,” said the Vice President of Human Resources, Elizabeth Savage-Tracy. “Having a Child Care Center is a key recruitment and retention strategy for that."

Valley Health has over a 90 percent retention rate with employees who use the Child Care Center. Over 96 percent of employees who use the service consistently give it a satisfactory rating.

“Healthcare is kind of a shaky arena right now,” said Fisher. “The dollars may need to go to other things that are more patient focused. But we have been successful, and our organization believes in what we're providing. We prove that we are helping to hold onto employees, and they feel it is valuable to maintain this for our corporation."

The services of the Child Care Center are available to all Valley Health employees. While the child care services are not free, they are available at a “middle-of-the-road price” that is competitive with other child care options in the area. 

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