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Bon Secours gets thumbs up for over-50s

Published 8:45pm Thursday, June 27, 2013

Bill Havrila, a CT technologist at Harbour View Health Center, started working for Bon Secours Health System when he left the military in 1974.

His first job was an operating room orderly at Maryview Medical Center in Portsmouth, the same hospital where Alyce Golding, now a radiology technologist at the Harbour View Health Center location, started with the nonprofit health system in 1978.

Bill Havrila and Alyce Golding, both in their 60s, speak glowingly of their employer, Bon Secours, which AARP has named to its list of the top 50 employers nationwide for workers over 50.
Bill Havrila and Alyce Golding, both in their 60s, speak glowingly of their employer, Bon Secours, which AARP has named to its list of the top 50 employers nationwide for workers over 50.

Havrila, 62, and Golding, 64, both speak glowingly of the organization that has become such an important part of their lives, and which AARP recently ranked No. 8 in its top-50 list of the best employers nationwide for people over 50.

“It’s the people helping people that I like the best,” said Golding, who trained at Maryview’s former radiology program.

“We have a great group of people here at Harbour View. We are a close-knit family here. I really appreciate that feeling of working with not just co-workers, not just friends, but (with) family.”

Havrila also trained at Maryview’s former “X-ray school,” using his GI Bill benefits. When he came across to help open Harbour View in 1999, the hospital was “in the middle of a cow paddock,” with deer roaming the parking lot.

Havrila then returned to Maryview for another stint, and has been back at Harbour View since 2006.

“There’s something special about this place,” he said. “It’s a comfortable place to work; you don’t feel threatened.”

Golding and Havrila both cited the willingness of managers to work with them on any issues or occurrences that might affect their work.

“My daughter passed away in 2002, and it was very impressive how — all the way across the system — they helped,” Havrila said.

Golding, also ex-military, said, “They are really there for you; we are not just numbers.”

“AARP improves opportunities for older workers by spotlighting employers that have implemented programs that help retain, retrain, engage and recruit mature workers,” AARP Virginia State President Bob Blancato stated in a news release.

AARP says Bon Secours Virginia employees pay less in medical premiums after completing a personal health assessment and wellness screening online.

Employees working at least 32 hours per week can join Bon Secours’ retirement program, and those aged between 65 and 69 working less than 24 hours per week still maintain pension benefits.

Also, workers over 70 1/2 receive their pension without limits to hours worked.

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