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BC Top Employer 2017


Pacific Blue Cross: health and well-being for all

(Vancouver Sun, March 9, 2017)
Kennet Lui knew right from the start that there was something special about working at Pacific Blue Cross (PBC). Even as a mailroom contract employee, he was treated with respect and encouragement. Says Lui: “It’s a big organization, but everyone wants to help each other out so we can all succeed.”

Clearly, Lui has. It took him two years of various short-term contracts before he landed his first permanent PBC job, as a clerk.

Shortly thereafter, he visited the human resources office to discuss a career plan that would prepare him for a position with a “bigger voice.” Lui took leadership and related courses, both external and internal. PBC picked up the tab.

One promotion led to another and now, 16 years later, Lui is Manager, Group Services for the Burnaby-based B.C. health-benefits provider, supervising 60 other employees.

Such generous professional development support is but one of many benefits that led to more than 5,000 people last year applying for just 70 PBC openings. “We’re a not-for-profit, and that is a key value running throughout the organization,” says President and CEO Jan K. Grude.

Indeed, PBC is a major supporter of numerous not-for-profit community initiatives, especially in healthcare and related fields. Its United Way campaign, for one, is an award-winner, and PBC matches employee efforts. It also covers all travel health insurance costs for Children’s Wish Foundation kids and their families whose wishes involve travel outside Canada. “Even if they could get coverage, most could not otherwise afford the premiums,” says Grude.

Five years ago, PBC launched its Health Foundation that channels funds annually into a variety of health-related programs, including a $150,000 donation last year to the Canadian Cancer Society’s Wig Bank program.

For their part, PBC employees have health benefits that Grude says are “best in class compared to market standards.” Those benefits continue even after retirement.

Other perks include health and wellness programs, membership in an on-site fitness facility for $5 per month, $1,000 post-secondary scholarships for employees’ children, and stand-up/ sit-down desks at every workstation.

Says Grude: “For more than 75 years, Pacific Blue Cross has been improving health and well-being. We provide health, dental, life, disability and travel coverage for one in three British Columbians through group benefits and individual plans. Our health benefits help make top employers, and we’re proud to be recognized for walking the talk.”

BC Top Employer 2017

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