You are here: Home / Communications / News / Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board Receives Sloan Award for Excellence

Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board Receives Sloan Award for Excellence

The Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board accepted the prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility in November 2012.
Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board Receives Sloan Award for Excellence

Northwest Area Indian Health Board accepts the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility.

The Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board accepted the prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility in November 2012.

November 21, 2012

On November 13, the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, one of NWCPHP’s regional partners, accepted the prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility. The agency was recognized for using flexibility as an effective workplace strategy to increase business and employee success.

“We are happy to receive this recognition for our workplace practices,” said Joe Finkbonner, Executive Director of the Health Board. “The delegates of our 43 member tribes believe in family and community values and want their employees to be able to take care of their family and health obligations. For example, simply being able to take children to school in the morning or schedule a break to walk or work out during the day makes it easier to concentrate and to do a good job for the Board as well.”

According to the Families and Work Institute, the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board ranks in the top 20 percent of employers nationally in terms of its programs, policies, and culture for creating an effective and flexible workplace. Workplace flexibility—such as flextime, part-time work and compressed workweeks—has been demonstrated to help businesses remain competitive while also benefiting employees.

“Our research consistently finds that employees in effective and flexible workplaces have greater engagement on the job and greater desire to stay with their organization. In addition, they report lower stress levels and better overall health,” said Ellen Galinsky, president of Families and Work Institute.

Bobby Puffin, Human Resources Coordinator for the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, agrees. “There is a high level of professionalism and trust in the organization that people are utilizing their time effectively,” said Puffin. “The result is that we are one of the premier epidemiology centers in the United States, and we’re able to renew grants and get new grants on a regular basis very successfully.”

According to Puffin, the concept of workplace flexibility has its roots in Native culture and has been a characteristic of the organization since its beginning in 1972. Official policies in the employee handbook date back to 1998, long before flexibility became the popular business practice it has become today.

For a workplace to receive a Sloan Award, employees have to vouch for how well policies are put in place. Applicants are reviewed using a unique and rigorous, two-step selection process. It involves an evaluation of employers’ flexibility programs and practices, and a confidential employee survey. All applicants are measured against national norms from the National Study of Employers.

When Work Works is a national project to educate the business community on the value of workplace flexibility by sharing research and promising practices, and bestowing annual Sloan Awards. It is an ongoing initiative of the Families and Work Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management.

Established in 1972, the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board is a nonprofit tribal advisory organization serving the 43 federally recognized tribes in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Its mission is to eliminate health disparities and improve the quality of life of American Indians and Alaska Natives by supporting tribes in the delivery of culturally appropriate, high quality health care.

STORY TO SHARE?

We love public health stories! We feature them in our postcard series, Spotlight on the Field, and news items. Please contact us to share your story!