AdventHealth Shawnee Mission boosts workers’ minimum wage to $15 an hour

AdventHealth Shawnee Mission wage

AdventHealth Shawnee Mission says more than 800 employees across Johnson County will see their base pay rate increase with the change, which kicks in on their June 25 paycheck. File photo.

Hourly workers at AdventHealth Shawnee Mission campuses in Johnson County are getting a bump in pay.

AdventHealth Shawnee Mission announced Wednesday that it is increasing its minimum hourly wage to $15 an hour, becoming the latest major health care system in the area to boost employees’ wages to that level since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The change will impact more than 800 employees at AdventHealth Shawnee Mission’s Johnson County campuses, according to the hospital, including workers in environmental services, nutrition services, child care, clinical associates and clerical and administrative roles.

The raise will take effect this month and be reflected on the workers’ June 25th paychecks, according to the hospital.

“We strive to be a place where team members thrive professionally and experience a sense of wholeness,” said AdventHealth Shawnee Mission President Michael Knecht in a release. “Team members in the roles impacted by this change are an integral part of our team and provide Christ’s healing ministry to our community.”

AdventHealth is a faith-based, nonprofit hospital chain based in Florida that traces its roots back to the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

Other local hospitals boost wages during pandemic

With the move, AdventHealth Shawnee Mission becomes the last major health care system serving Johnson County to boost wages to $15 an hour in the last year.

Starting in the fall, other local hospitals began boosting pay rates, citing the risks the COVID-19 pandemic posed to health care workers on the front lines battling the disease’s spread.

HCA Midwest, which operates Overland Park Medical Center and Menorah, boosted hourly pay to $15 an hour in the fall, along with St. Luke’s Health System.

In February, the University of Kansas Health System also increased its hourly minimum rate of pay to $15 an hour, as did Olathe Medical Center.

In its own announcement, AdventHealth Shawnee Mission did not mention COVID-19 but suggested other hospitals’ decisions to raise pay factored in its decision.

In an email, Kelly Cooper, a spokesperson for AdventHealth Shawnee Mission, said: “The decision to raise wages was based on AdventHealth’s desire to help team members thrive professionally and remain competitive as an employer.”

Coming out of a challenging year

The boost to $15 an hour means AdventHealth Shawnee Mission workers will be paid more than double Kansas’ minimum wage of $7.25.

The change comes on the tail end of a challenging 15 months or so for local health care workers and institutions.

AdventHealth Shawnee Mission says it never had to furlough or lay off employees during the pandemic but had to “redeploy” staff to new roles to deal with the influx of COVID-19 patients, including COVID-19 screening, testing and vaccine distribution.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, AdventHealth Shawnee Mission remained committed to keeping our team members whole,” Cooper said in her email, “which meant keeping them fully employed and caring for their physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing as we navigated this crisis together.”

Still, the hospital — like other local hospitals — dealt with major financial headwinds caused, in part, by the abrupt and near-total cancellation of elective and outpatient procedures at the beginning of the pandemic.

AdventHealth Shawnee Mission received about $10 million in federal relief payments, government aid which only partially offset significant losses.

“Like other hospitals, we experienced significant financial impact and our team is pleased to be fully reopened and providing our needed health services to the community,” Cooper said.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that AdventHealth Shawnee Mission is a for-profit hospital chain. It is nonprofit.