Children's Mercy Extended Illness Time Benefit Supports Bone Marrow, Organ Donation
In what’s considered to be a rare offering among companies across the country, Children's Mercy has enhanced its Extended Illness Time (EIT) benefit to support solid organ and bone marrow donation.
If an employee is eligible and has agreed to serve as a bone marrow or solid organ donor, they may use up to 40 hours of additional EIT (in a rolling 12-month period) when they qualify for a leave of absence due to their inability to work during and immediately following the donation.
This enhanced benefit is known as the “Warady Benefit” in honor of Bradley Warady, MD, Director, Division of Pediatric Nephrology, who has championed organ donation throughout this career and suggested that Children’s Mercy consider such a benefit.
“Employees 20 and 30 years from now will be told about Brad’s advocacy for those who needed gifts of life and hope,” said Human Resources Vice President Robin Faulk, MHR, MA.
"There are very few organizations of any kind across the nation that are offering this benefit," Dr. Warady said of the new enhanced Extended Illness Time benefit that supports employees who are living donors and bears his name. Dr. Warady is a longtime champion of organ donation.
“This is not the norm out there,” Dr. Warady said of the enhanced benefit. “There are very few organizations of any kind across the nation that are offering this benefit. Plain and simple, this benefit has the potential to help save lives. Nothing could be more important. The fact that the benefit has my name attached to it was not only a surprise, but a great honor. The enhancement of the EIT benefit is also evidence of the real impact one can have at Children’s Mercy if you are persistently passionate about something that will help others – in this case, support to make possible the ‘gift of life.’”
In what he described as good timing, Dr. Warady, who serves on the Board of Directors of the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), shared the news of the enhanced benefit with his colleagues at their NKF meeting in New York on Jan. 25.
“Board members applauded the action taken by Children’s Mercy and immediately asked what steps were taken to establish the benefit here so that they, too, could propose the benefit at their institutions.”
Several months ago, Dr. Warady asked that Robin and Carolyn Ehlers, MBA, SPHR, Director of Compensation, Benefits and Wellness, consider a way to support employees who are living donors. The Organ Procurement & Transplantation Network cites these startling statistics:
- More than 114,000 people need a lifesaving organ transplant nationwide, according to Feb. 5 data.
- Every 10 minutes, someone is added to the national transplant waiting list.
- More than 7,000 candidates died in 2016 while on the wait list or within 30 days of leaving the list for personal or medical reasons, without receiving an organ transplant.
- More than 6,000 transplants were made possible in 2017 by living donors.
“I am extremely proud of Children’s Mercy for taking this unique step because not only does it provide evidence of our hospital’s recognition of the importance of supporting those heroes among us who wish to be kidney and bone marrow donors, but it is also evidence of Children’s Mercy’s desire to lead by example here in Kansas City and throughout the country,” Dr. Warady said.