Top 3 best small nonprofits

Top 3 best small nonprofits

No. 4 Best Small Nonprofit

Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems

The mission of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems is demanding, but the employees take time to have fun.

Chief executive officer Andy Davidson created a new vision for the organization five years ago, and remains focused on building his team. “He challenges your thinking,” says services director Diane Waldo.

The staff participates in one-on-one and group exercises with a professional coach. Not every gathering is focused on work though; birthday celebrations and baby showers are common. The staff also receives generous benefits. Two employees are working on their master’s degree with the help of a tuition assistance program, and the organization contributes 7% of base salaries to retirement plans.

The organization advocates for Oregon hospitals and the patients they serve. “We’re one size fits all,” says communications director Andy Van Pelt. Over the past 76 years, the Lake Oswego-based association has had to adapt. “The policies being developed are more intricate,” says vice president Kevin Earls. “It’s a very intellectually stimulating work environment.”

Health care is a complex issue, and representing an entire state is difficult. The employees relieve stress by playing practical jokes. Van Pelt says his first assignment was to negotiate a “copy machine contract,” which turned out to be faker than fool’s gold.

Davidson admits he pulls a lot of the jokes. “You always know when Andy is in the room,” co-worker Peggy Allen says with a smile.

CORY MIMMS