Danvers--Care Dimensions, the largest provider of hospice and palliative care in Massachusetts, has added an innovative option to its employee benefit package—a student loan repayment benefit. The new option is a direct response to a demonstrated employee need and is a creative employee benefit for local nonprofit organizations.
Though gaining ground among larger for-profit companies, with an estimated 11% of U.S. companies offering it, student loan repayment benefits have not yet entered the mainstream.
“We hope the student loan repayment benefit will distinguish us as a non-profit employer of choice,” says Kristine DiFiore, Care Dimensions Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer. “In a competitive healthcare recruitment market, we aim to attract, retain and develop our best clinical and non-clinical talent.”
Starting in January 2020, Care Dimensions’ 100% employer-paid benefit provides $50 per month to help eligible employees pay off their student debt faster and access a loan refinancing program—both of which will help employees save money.
“Hospice care is a very specialized field,” says Patricia Ahern, President and CEO. “Our employees have invested in their education and in developing the required expertise, and now we want to invest in and reward our employees. Based on staff interest, we hope to grow this benefit program in the future.”
Nationwide, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reports that Americans have $1.5 trillion in student loan debt. In Massachusetts, approximately 1 million residents have school loans that affects their financial wellbeing and ability to save for retirement.
The benefit announcement was positively received among Care Dimensions’ 684 clinical and non-clinical staff, including Brandon Secatore, RN, who graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in 2012 and over $100,000 in student loan debt.
“The student loan repayment benefit will certainly help lift a large burden I have been carrying since graduation,” says Secatore. “Thanks to this new program, I may finally be able to buy a house and start my life the way I have always wanted to.”
Creative Arts Therapist Coordinator Li Kynvi is currently paying two student loans from previous and in-progress master’s degrees. “I had no family financial help, and I’ve worked only for non-profits my entire adult life. It means a lot to me that we are supporting our employees who have had to borrow money to get their education.”
The Care Dimensions employee student loan benefit will be administered by Gradifi,a Boston-based benefits company.
About Care Dimensions
Care Dimensions is the largest hospice and palliative care provider to adults and children in Massachusetts. As a non-profit, community-based leader in advanced illness care, Care Dimensions provides comprehensive hospice, palliative care, grief support in more than 95 communities in Eastern Massachusetts. Care Dimensions was founded in 1978 as Hospice of the North Shore, and cares for patients wherever they live – in their homes, in skilled nursing facilities and assisted living communities, in hospitals, or at our two inpatient hospice facilities (the Care Dimension Hospice House in Lincoln, and the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers). Additionally, Care Dimensions HomeMD program provides in-home primary care to patients over age 65 in select communities on the North Shore and Greater Boston who have difficulty leaving home. The Care Dimensions Learning Institute educates more than 7000 healthcare professionals and community members each year on advanced illness and end-of-life topics.
To learn more about Care Dimensions, please visit www.CareDimensions.org.
Since 1978, Care Dimensions has provided comprehensive and compassionate care for individuals and families dealing with life-threatening illnesses. As the non-profit leader in advanced illness care, we offer services in over 100 communities in Massachusetts.