Scripps Health

What They Do

Provide patient-centered care to nearly 500,000 patients each year via five acute-care hospital campuses, clinics, physician offices, home health care services and an ambulatory care network, all located in Southern California.

Headquarters: San Diego, California
Founded: 1924
Employees: 13700
Annual Revenues: $2600 Million.

FORTUNE's 100 Best Companies to Work for ® 2014

What Makes Scripps Health Great

scripps employee photoOne Scripps employee boils it down to two factors what make Scripps Health, the Southern California-based health system, a great workplace: first, "great employees who give their all with caring and dedication" and second, "outstanding leadership at the top of our organization, where there is great vision, communication and values that we all look up to."

These themes are repeated widely by other Scripps employees, who praise the "professionalism, camaraderie and teamwork among staff" just as often as they use words like "visionary," "transparent and approachable," and "exemplary" to describe their CEO, Chris Van Gorder, and his executive team.

Balancing out the professionalism is a healthy spirit of fun and respect for employees' lives outside work. Scripps regularly organizes events like movie nights for Scripps' families and kids, group outings to see the San Diego Padres, and employee talent shows. Several of its sites offer free fitness classes at their onsite gyms, as well as free cooking classes by expert chefs, and free chair massages. Families can take advantage of elder care support, on-site child care centers, and flexible work schedules.

No wonder 92 percent of Scripps employees are proud to tell others that they work for Scripps, and just as many say that they have no plans to leave for a long time.

Inside Story

scripps employee photoFounded in 1924 and based in San Diego, Scripps is a $2.6 billion nonprofit integrated health system. Ellen Browning Scripps’ legacy of care is carried out by 2,600 affiliated physicians and 13,700 employees, half of whom are hourly. It's a wide and diverse group of employees: half of Scripps employees are people of color and a quarter are 55 years or older. Women make up 76 percent of the workforce and are proportionally represented in leadership roles: 74 percent of management was female in 2012.

Uniting this diverse group of employees is a shared commitment to "patient-centered care as our number one goal." Employees share anecdotes about being there to watch a stroke survivor fly a kite for the first time again with an affected hand or a surgery patient participate in a cycling trip to celebrate a long recovery. Ninety-five percent of their staff are proud of the impact they have on their community, and nearly as many (92 percent) find that their work has special meaning, and is more than just a job.


As passionate as these professionals are about the patient work they do, they are also inspired by the leaders who enable them to do it. Eighty-seven percent find managers to be honest and ethical in their business practices, and nearly as many also find them to be competent at running the business and able to entrust staff with a lot of responsibility while avoiding micromanagement.

scripps employee photoMuch of employees' praise goes specifically to CEO, Chris Van Gorder, a former police officer who started his career in health care as a security guard, rising through the ranks to eventually take the reigns at Scripps, where he worked with colleagues to turn it around from the brink of bankruptcy to the thriving and award-winning institution it is today. "I think our visionary CEO has made a world of difference to this organization," says one employee of Van Gorder. "He has led us on the correct path and because of his actions I feel that this has created a much better environment and made us a strong leader in the community."

Part of Van Gorder's and his executive team's path to success has been to stress metrics and accountability throughout the system. The company values "quality, respect and efficiency," assigning metrics and holding itself accountable to all of this, including whether it is creating a great workplace. Managers, for example, receive bonuses that are tied to their success in creating an environment that retains employees.


One particular attribute of the culture that many employees praise is its sense of respect for employees. "The corporate culture, led by the CEO, has a sincere respect for the value of employees as people," explains one team member. "This pervades the corporation and influences almost everything in the workplace."

Employees say this respect can be seen in the transparency with which leaders share financial and other information with staff, as well as the support leaders provide for employees' personal and professional lives. Eighty-three percent feel they are offered the training and development they need to further themselves professionally, and 85 percent say that people are actually encouraged to create balance in their work and personal lives. Additionally, 92 percent find their benefits to be special and unique, citing everything from tuition reimbursement, wellness programs, paid time off, flexible schedules, retirement programs and red carpet employee celebrations.

To keep up with employee input, senior vice president Victor Buzachero hosts employee focus groups each year, and CEO Van Gorder directly responds to employee emails and suggestions. In response to employee input, Scripps has enhanced its benefits program, implemented a gain-sharing program for all employees and added dozens of work-life balance benefits.

"No other organization can offer to its employees what Scripps does; like the benefits and more," claims one happy team member.

In keeping with their generally positive perspective on leadership, people say the company operates fairly: nearly three-quarters report that managers avoid playing favorites and find that promotions consistently go to those who best deserve them -- but a few say there's still room for improvement.  "Some departments seem to be able to advance and promote their staff at a faster rate than other departments," one employee says. Still, Scripps does have programs in place to encourage internal promotions and job mobility. In 2012, 657 employees were promoted throughout the system and 2,131 employees transferred from current jobs to other positions throughout the system that were more in line with their professional goals.

"Scripps is a great place to work because you're treated here more as a family member and not just an employee," one employee says. "It does not matter if you hold the highest position nor the lowest in the totem pole everyone is treated equally with high regard and respect." 

All in all, the majority (94 percent) of employees say they're proud to tell others where they work. As one employee says, "I am proud to be part of a company that sees the needs of the community and tries as best they can to make a positive difference in fulfilling those needs."

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A diverse team that works hard to deliver excellent patient care while enjoying the personal and professional support of strong leaders.


Great Challenges


Great Atmosphere


Great Rewards


Great Pride


Great Communication


Great Bosses

Often or Almost Always

This review is based on 819 employee surveys, with a 95% confidence level and a margin of error of ±3.20. It was published on Jan 2nd, 2014. Our methodology

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