Children’s Hospital Colorado touted as 1st pediatric hospital offering free ed benefits to workers

AURORA | Children’s Hospital Colorado is partnering with the Colorado-based company Guild to offer its employees free educational opportunities.

It is the first pediatric hospital to offer these benefits, and hopes that the program will improve employee retention and help the hospital fill hard-to-find specializations, according to hospital officials.

Guild is an online platform that partners with learning providers to offer a wide range of credentials from the completion of a GED to technical certificates and graduate and undergraduate degrees.

Betsy Rodriguez, Children’s Hospital Colorado’s vice president of human resources, said the hospital had been looking into ways to partner with educational institutions on its own when it came across Guild.

“We were really pleased to find a vendor that could shortcut that for us,” she said.

All the hospital’s benefits-eligible employees qualify to use Guild, over 90% of its total workforce. The hospital launched the program in late April and as of the end of the month, and at least 25% of eligible employees have already made a Guild account and some have already started working on a degree program, Rodriguez said.

According to a news release from the hospital, employees will be able to take advantage of more than 75 programs from more than 25 learning providers. The catalog will be tailored to the hospital’s needs, and focus on healthcare, business, technology, psychology and hospitality, the release said.

Rodriguez said that the hospital hopes Guild will help fill some of its harder-to-fill pipelines, such as radiology technicians, pharmaceutical roles and other more specialized medical jobs. 

Guild is free to use, and the hospital will pay the associated higher learning institutions directly for the programs that employees complete. The partnership will be more accessible because the hospital will pay the institutions up front. 

In the past, Rodriguez said the hospital had an educational opportunity program where employees could complete a credential and be reimbursed, but many employees couldn’t afford to pay the up-front costs that required.

By increasing accessibility, the hospital will further its goal of making its staff more representative of the patient population it serves, she said.

A benefit of Guild is that it has coaches who help users navigate what they need to do to reach their ultimate educational goal, Rodriguez said. She said that one employee who works in food service wants to become a radiologist, and has started the work he needs to do to get his GED so that he can ultimately get certified.

The partnership will allow people to develop their careers without having to leave the hospital, which Rodriguez said was a priority. The administration has already heard from people who were considering leaving, but since Guild was introduced they have decided to stay.

“We have a really special working culture at children’s because we’re all here for the kids,” she said. “Anything we can do that makes team members want to stay is a huge benefit.”

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Ashley DeLaup
Ashley DeLaup
1 month ago

Not free, Paid for by the saps who go to the hospital. We had a half hour visit for one blood test and one x-ray to rule stuff out. Got a lovely bill for $2000… Never even saw a doctor.