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Pine Rest gives $1.8M in 'appreciation bonuses' to staff

The bonuses are intended to recognize the essential work of staffers through the pandemic
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Posted at 4:32 PM, Jun 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-28 18:00:39-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The board of directors at Pine Rest recently decided to distribute $1.8 million in bonuses to their staff. The decision was made in an effort to recognize the essential work their employees performed through the pandemic, and to help with staff retention.

The board at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services decided to approve the funds to be distributed to staff as what they are calling an "employee appreciation bonus."

The bonus money was paid out to staff on Friday, June 18.

Pine Rest has a total of about 1,800 employees across their multiple facilities. Staff received anywhere between $300 and $1,100 depending on their hours.

“Teen suicides are up… access for services are up... and I think that we are just scratching the surface of all the social isolation that's occurred in the last 15 months,” said Pine Rest VP and COO Bob Nykamp.

“We've seen really unprecedented volume increases.”

Pine Rest has seen a 13% increase in pediatric inpatient services, while outpatient services have surged `18%.

They have also seen a 44% increase in the number of pediatric patients they had to simply turn away because they were at capacity at the time.

“All health care is struggling in terms of finding appropriate personnel, primarily entry-level staff. At Pine Rest, we're having the same issue. There are just not enough qualified people looking for work right now,” Nykamp said.

"These nurses have stuck with these organizations across the country, but are probably burned out and ready to retire, and I think, as things continue to ease up with COVID, you're going to see a massive nursing exodus from the field.”

Pine Rest has 62 beds reserved for pediatric patients, which have been close to capacity since the pandemic arrived over a year ago.

Nykamp told FOX 17, “Our board is also highly focused on eliminating barriers to access to care, and they know that taking care of our staff and keeping our staff at Pine Rest is critically important.”

**Do you or a loved one need help?**
You can request information or a phone call from Pine Rest at their website RIGHT HERE.
Worried about paying? You can find info on financial assistance at their website RIGHT HERE.
If you need help right now, you can always go to Pine Rest's Urgent Care. Find info HERE.