Each year ReEmployAbility successfully matches thousands of injured workers with temporary modified duty assignments at its partner local nonprofit organizations. Participants in the Transition2Work program are assigned duties that are safely within their treating physician’s outlined work restrictions. Many participants excel during their assignment, learning new, transferrable skills and filling vital roles within the nonprofit organization.
Genesis, an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) for Tampa-based AmeriCare Ambulance Service is one such example. As an EMT, she responds to medical and trauma emergencies, and frequently must move patients who weigh from 90 to 300 lbs. While trying to lift a patient, she acquired lumbar injury and required time off of work to heal. After her injury, her employer, unable to accommodate her medical work restrictions, enrolled her in ReEmployAbility’s Transition2Work program to match her with an assignment at a local nonprofit that could provide appropriate light duty.
She was placed at the Arthritis Research Institute of America, a nonprofit organization dedicated to conducting research on osteoarthritis prevention and treatment. As a Data Entry Clerk, she entered and verified research data, utilizing her medical knowledge. “My experience with Transition2Work was amazing. I was placed somewhere I felt that I could put to use all of the knowledge that I already had in the medical field, and they really made me feel like I wasn’t too far away from what I was actually doing already at my regular job,” said Genesis.
Soon after her start date, the nonprofit agency hosting Genesis recognized her stellar performance and designated her as floor manager, keeping other volunteers on schedule and working closely with researchers. “Genesis is a fantastic volunteer. I dare to say she is the best we have ever had,” said her nonprofit supervisor, Brian Barrett. “She has gone from data entry to verification and is now working with the scientists on the data tables for their findings. Her attention to detail astounds me on a daily basis.”
Her employer was excited to hear that one of his valued employees was able to make such a contribution to the community and have a positive experience while in the Transition2Work program, “She’s a very good employee for us. [The nonprofit organization] really utilized her. They wrote us complements about her work ethic at the site that she was at and that was a really good success story of the ReEmployAbility program” said Joseph McNulty, HR Manager with AmeriCare Ambulance. He added, “As an Americare family, [Transition2Work] really helps us to help our employees see that we really value them as an employee in keeping them going and keeping them financially stable when they’re down as a result of a work related injury.”
Genesis continued treatment for her injury throughout the duration of her assignment at Arthritis Research Institute of America until she was able to go back to working with AmeriCare Ambulance on full duty. The nonprofit transitional duty assignment helped her by keeping her engaged and connected to the work experience, and provided her with a rewarding role where she could make an impact in her community. She said of her experience, “I think it’s really important for employers to give their employees a choice and the opportunity to be able to work in the Transition2Work program so they can keep active and still give back to their community.” Genesis, her employer, and the nonprofit organization benefited from being involved in the program.
The Transition2Work program places injured workers with local nonprofit organizations to perform modified light duty assignments. The employer pays wages to the injured worker while at the nonprofit. The injured worker benefits by easing back into the workforce, enjoys the camaraderie of a work environment, and gets the benefit of helping others.