Michael Scott and Carol McNeel of the Colorado Hosiptal Assication
Built on
Retirement Services

Even before the pandemic, health care workers were in high demand. Now, after more than two years of battling with COVID-19, hospitals are fighting harder than ever to retain employees. Grand River Health in Rifle, Colorado, is no different.

“It is a very competitive space,” Human Resources Benefits Specialist Carol McNeel said. At Grand River Health, McNeel has worked hard to provide benefits to more than 600 hospital employees. “When we look at the job market, one of the best ways for us to retain people is to offer a great retirement plan.”

But being a nonprofit brings its own set of challenges. For one thing, their retirement plans don’t have quite the name recognition of a 401(k) — fewer employees are familiar with 403(b) and 457 plans. From an administrative lens, these plans also have their own unique requirements as well.

That’s why Grand River partnered with Michael Scott and Cherry Torres of the Colorado Hospital Association (CHA). Supporting more than 100 hospitals throughout the state, CHA partners with them on everything from advocacy to benefits planning.

“One of the things that’s unique about our retirement services is that it’s not really a product to us. It’s a relationship,” Cherry said. “We work really hard to understand what our hospitals and their employees need, and we provide a familiar face they can ask questions to. I’ve been here 25 years, and Michael has been here for 20. In a world with so much turnover and change, we’re there to help build trust.”

“OneAmerica has been good at keeping its portfolio top quality. You need that to help ride through moments like these. But even more important are the relationships.”

- Michael Scott
President, Colorado Hospital Association Financial Advisors

CHA employs a high-touch strategy to meet employees where they are and help them create a financial plan for the future. That continued even during the height of the pandemic.

“COVID made it a challenge to deliver service, but Cherry became a Zoom-ologist,” Michael laughed. “We always want to be there for people, because when we provide that financial education, they make better decisions. We didn’t have nearly as much panic about the market during COVID with our clientele, because we’d spent years educating them on market volatility. They stayed in their plans and got through it.”

Michael also credits the retirement products provided by OneAmerica with helping to keep people calm. “OneAmerica has been good at keeping its portfolio top quality,” he said. “You need that to help ride through moments like these. But even more important are the relationships.”

For Cherry, the values of CHA and OneAmerica align so well that the collaboration was meaningful from the start. “We get to work with anyone we want. But for me, being in the field every day, OneAmerica is the first company where it feels like we’re on the same page when it comes to building relationships,” Cherry said. “We know that they’re listening to us and understand the nonprofit space. We both know we’re in it together.”

Michael added, “They aren’t beholden to shareholders. OneAmerica values their relationship with policyholders and distribution partners, and it shows. Without that relationship, we would not have the capabilities to expand like we have. We are able to grow our business and serve more people because we work with OneAmerica.”

As for Carol, she’s been thrilled by Grand River’s relationship with both CHA and OneAmerica.

“We’re at a 90% participation rate now,” she explained. “And once they meet with Cherry and our OneAmerica rep, they usually end up increasing their contributions. The results have just been incredible. We’re so pleased to be in good hands.”