Advocate Aurora year-end bonuses to reflect employees’ level of patient interaction

Employees of Aurora Medical Center in Grafton gather to send off Wynonia Page, an 81-year-old COVID-19 patient who was recently discharged from the hospital.
Employees of Aurora Medical Center in Grafton gather to send off Wynonia Page, an 81-year-old COVID-19 patient who was recently discharged from the hospital. Photo courtesy of Advocate Aurora Health

Advocate Aurora Health informed employees Tuesday it will distribute $66 million in bonuses this month.

The bonuses – which are tiered based on employees’ level of direct interaction with patients – will be awarded to about 69,000 staff members, more than 90% of the Milwaukee- and Downers Grove, Illinois-based health system’s workforce.

The cash award allocations include: $500 to those in administrative or corporate roles, $800 for those who provide onsite support to clinical staff, and $1,300 to those who provide direct patient care.

The tiered system is a recognition of the “undoubtedly heaviest” burden that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on direct patient care providers, Jim Skogsbergh, president and chief executive officer of Advocate Aurora, said in a video message to employees.

The cash payments will be reflected in employees’ Dec. 24 paychecks, Skogsbergh said. They will be prorated based on a whether an employee works half- or full-time.

Unlike other years, Skogsbergh said, this year’s bonuses are not based on the organization’s end-of-year financial and performance results.

“This bonus is not based on our financial or quality of performance because, frankly, this is a year that we are off on almost all of our numbers as are most health care organizations who have invested so heavily in their workforce despite the devastating financial impact of COVID,” he said.

Earlier this year, Advocate Aurora distributed $15 million in bonuses to its employees, about $300 per full-time employee, after the organization exceeded its patient outcomes and financial performance goals for 2019.

“We’re not waiting for year-end results so we’re providing you with the bonus now,” Skogsbergh said Tuesday in his video message. “…. Hopefully this will add a little more cheer to your holidays.”

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