Tag Archives: Susan Norton

Benefits for same-sex spouses

As a result of the recent Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, Georgia Regents Health System benefits plans will now allow for coverage of same-sex spouses.

The following is a letter from Susan Norton, GRU’s Vice President of Human Resources and chief human resources officer, regarding the recent change.

“As a result of the recent Supreme Court decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, Georgia Regents Health System has made the necessary changes to our benefits plans to allow for coverage of same-sex spouses.

Employees who want to make a benefits enrollment change to add a same-sex spouse to their benefits coverage will be able to do so beginning July 13, 2015. The enrollment period will be extended beyond the normal 30 days to Sept. 1, 2015, to allow additional time to process the changes for employees/retirees who were married in a state that recognized same-sex marriages prior to June 26, 2015, the date the change became effective in the state of Georgia. Anyone married on or after June 26, 2015, will follow the 30-day change-of-status window currently provided by the IRS.

Information about how to enroll and required documentation will be available on the Georgia Regents Medical Center website beginning Monday, July 13, at go.gru.edu/specialenrollment.

Georgia Regents Medical Center and Roosevelt Warm Springs Rehabilitation & Specialty Hospitals employees, if you have questions, please feel free to contact the Medical Center Benefits office at 706-721-7909 or by email at GRMCBenefits@gru.edu.

Georgia Regents Medical Associates employees, if you have questions, please feel free to contact the Medical Associates Benefits office for enrollment information.”


Susan Norton
VP Human Resources, CHRO
Georgia Regents University & Health System

Employee Engagement Survey results encouraging for Health System

The results from Georgia Regents Health System’s second Employee Engagement Survey are in, and senior leadership is very pleased.

“We’re actually seeing the fruits of the labor, that action planning has resulted in improvement,” said Susan Norton, Enterprise Vice-President, Human Resources. “We’ve made dramatic improvement in a very short period of time.”

The survey’s intent was to receive feedback from health system employees in order to better understand how they view the organization and then to prioritize those responses and engage in action planning with the goal of improving our employees’ experience with their work environment

It had been 12 years since an engagement survey had been conducted for the health system, and the 2013 results showed room for improvement, with the health system finishing in the 8th percentile of similar institutions nationwide.

Leadership viewed those numbers as an opportunity to move forward.

“From my perspective, I wanted to see this happen here in our organization because our personnel are our most important asset and I value the voice of every one of our employees,” said Steven Scott, Chief Operating Officer, Georgia Regents Medical Center.

In the past, he said, there was no systematized way to tap into our employees’ experience other than through anecdotal commentary or information gleaned from exit interviews. By that time, it was often too late to make changes.

“That’s why I thought it was important not only to establish a survey process here, but also to demonstrate to our employees that senior leadership is interested in their point of view as it relates to improving our collective work environment,” Scott said.

After just seven months of focused attention, the health system jumped from the 8th percentile to the 26th percentile nationally.

“According to our engagement consultant, this performance represents a significant jump compared to her other clients,” Norton said. “For us to have also gone from 3.81 to 3.99 on a five-point scale in just seven months of action planning is huge.”

Not only did the organization jump to the next quartile and improve from Tier 3 to Tier 2, every single item in the survey went up.

“Last year, we only had 17 units in Tier 1 (the highest tier), and this year, we have 40,” Norton said. “Last year, we had 62 in Tier 2, and we have 114 this year. And last year, almost two-thirds of our organization was Tier 3, and we’ve dropped that down to 39 percent.”

Survey results have been made available to the management team, and all employees should expect to be receiving their departmental results from their managers very soon.

According to Scott, this organizational progress should be encouraging to everyone associated with the health system.

“We look forward to continuing to improve until we’ve become a Tier I organization with the majority of our work units in Tier I as well,” he said.