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The 2010 List: 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon

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Articles - March 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010

NUMBER TWO:

SMALL COMPANIES Companies with fewer than 50 employees worldwide
RANK '10 RANK '09 COMPANY CITY
HEADQUARTERS
OREGON SENIOR EXEC / TITLE
EMPLOYEES:
OR / TOTAL
BUSINESS SURVEY SCORE:
EMPLOYEE EMPLOYER
TOTAL SCORE
2 7 NW Newborn Specialists PC Portland
Valerie Newman
MD President
33
33
Physicians group specializing in newborn needs with state-of-the-art neonatal intens. care units 444.5
86.5
531.04

JEFFRIES
Photo of Dr. Patrick Lewallen, Northwest Newborn’s medical director, tending to babies in the neonatal ward of Legacy Emanuel Hospital
Photo of Dr. Patrick Lewallen, Northwest Newborn’s medical director, tending to babies in the neonatal ward of Legacy Emanuel Hospital
Dr. Patrick Lewallen (top and above), Northwest Newborn’s medical director, tends to babies in the neonatal ward of Legacy Emanuel Hospital.
PHOTOS BY LEAH NASH

Northwest Newborn Specialists // No. 2 Small Company

The employees of Portland’s Northwest Newborn Specialists all admit that providing medical care to ill and premature babies can be stressful and have an emotional toll. Part of what diffuses that stress, say employees, is a culture of learning and respect fostered by administrative staff and co-workers.

Being encouraged to pursue individual growth and professionalism — such as attending conferences or authoring research papers — also buoys employees. “It’s a supportive environment,” says physician Valerie Newman. “In medicine, it really can be the opposite.” Practical rewards are also reaped: health insurance was increased by 10% last year when administration began receiving employee feedback that benefits needed improvement.

Physicians also don’t have to work the usual 9 to 5, five days a week (or more). “We individualize the amount of work,” says chief financial and administrative officer Cheryl Hughes Gaulke. “You can be less than fulltime, or you can even be more than fulltime.”

The flexibility allows employees to balance work with private life. One employee recently took a three-and-a-half-week vacation to visit a family member outside the country. “The whole team pitched in to make that happen,” Hughes Gaulke says.

-AMANDA WALDROUPE

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