Mary Anne Casale has greeted patients and visitors from behind the concierge desk at Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel since the day it first opened in 2012.
Casale, 74, directs anxious family members and recovering patients to the right doctor or department within the hospital.
"I'm the first person they see when they come here," says Casale, who lives nearby in San Antonio. "It feels good to be able to help them."
Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel is the top-ranked workplace in the large employer category on the Tampa Bay Times Top Workplaces 2017 list. This is the third time the hospital, which is just five years old, has made the annual list.
Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel employs nearly 1,000 people, from health care professionals like doctors and nurses, to administration staff. Wesley Chapel is one of 28 medical institutions under the Florida Hospital umbrella, which has hospitals and emergency care facilities all over Central Florida.
The hospital recently wrapped up a $78 million expansion project that added 62 new in-patient beds to the existing 83. The expansion created 111,993 square feet of new space and 10,834 square feet of renovation, which doubled operating room and emergency room areas. The hospital's CEO, Denyse Bales-Chubb, credits the expansion to the tremendous rate of population growth Pasco County has seen in recent years.
"The marketplace just exploded out here," said Bales-Chubb, who has led the hospital since 2014. "But beyond the people who live here, we get patients who drive from different zip codes because they've heard about our customer satisfaction reputation and our excellent staff. And they keep coming back."
Generally, health care employers often struggle with employee retention because it's common for workers to experience burnout, said Bales-Chubb.
"There's a lot of stress that comes with taking care of sick individuals," she said. So Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel has made it a point to take care of its employees.
"It's all about creating relationships here," Bales-Chubb said. "We want the patients to feel important and our staff to feel important, too."
Mariana Gordon said she notices the difference in management at Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel. She said her supervisors are always present on the busy hospital floor and not tucked away in an office all day.
"They're always here wanting to help," said Gordon, an assistant nurse manager. "It feels more like a family that way. We're all in this together for the patient."
The hospital has won its share of awards in its short tenure. In 2016, Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel received 12 awards for its medical practices. In 2016, the hospital racked up eight new accolades. It has ranked in the top 5 percent of hospitals for patient satisfaction for the last two years in a row.
Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel regularly participates in community events. It offers free health education and screenings, free health services to uninsured and under-insured patients, and it supports local schools and charities through donations.
Employees get a discounted rate when visiting the hospital's on-site 50,000-square-foot health and wellness center, as well as a rebate up to 50 percent of the fee if they use the center at least eight times a month. Employees benefit from oil change, dry cleaning pick-up and car detailing services offered on site.
"It's all about helping people," said Casale, back at the front desk in the hospital's main atrium. "When you're my age and you need a job, you're lucky to have one as good as this."
Contact Justine Griffin at [email protected] or (727) 893-8467. Follow @SunBizGriffin.