How a Community Partnership Shaped our Company Culture

eHealth Technologies Blog: Jeff Markin, CEO, eHealth Technologies

This month we are celebrating the five-year anniversary of eHealth Technologies’ partnership with the opens in a new windowArc of Monroe, an organization that supports over 1,400 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families throughout Monroe County. When we built and moved into our corporate headquarters in West Henrietta, NY in 2014, one of the new perks we were able to offer employees was an on-site restaurant. This was quite a step-up from vending machines, which used to be employees’ only on-site options.

This offering was made possible by a partnership with the Arc of Monroe which offers several employment training programs with the goal of supporting people to gain competitive community employment. Through their Culinary Career Prep program, we were able to open an Arc Deli location right within our building. The Bistro, as we refer to it, is staffed for breakfast and lunch by program participants.

As the anniversary was approaching, I found myself reflecting on how this partnership has shaped our company culture. First, I think it exposes our employees to an important organization in our community that they might not otherwise interact with. Our team is well-versed in the mission of the Arc of Monroe. I’d like to think our team is a group of 300+ ambassadors for the organization throughout the western NY area.

Another thing I have seen grow over time is a sense of pride among employees. Working for an organization that has a strong sense of corporate citizenship makes us feel a part of something bigger than the company itself. Partnering with the Arc of Monroe is of course just one way that our team members are involved in the community. But unlike other annual walks or volunteer opportunities, this is something that is part of our daily life at eHealth Technologies. Especially when we are recruiting and interviewing candidates, it’s significant to hear our hiring managers talk about the Bistro, that it’s run by the Arc of Monroe, and how we have a relationship with the Arc of Monroe that allows us to give back to the community.

When visiting the Bistro, it’s a bit like Cheers—where everybody knows your name. It’s obvious right away that the team that runs the Arc Deli has truly become part of the eHealth Technologies family. Every day you’ll hear Arc Deli staff and our employees sharing stories and catching up on personal matters. And just like with Norm, the Bistro staff often remember lunch preferences for the “regulars”!

I firmly believe that our organization would not be the same if we had not made the decision five years ago to partner with Arc of Monroe. The Arc Deli brings so much more to the table than soup and sandwiches. There’s a special connection that has formed between our team members, and we are all better for it. The Arc Deli staff gets a real-world employment experience – learning to manage the many facets of running a restaurant including menu planning, inventory management, customer services, etc. The eHealth Technologies team has a warm and inviting place to take a break from the pressure of their work, grab a hot (or cold) meal, and chat with a friendly face – steps from their desk.

It’s just one more reason I am proud to lead this amazing group of individuals that work so hard to improve patients’ lives every day.