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Andrew Pitchford Recognized for Working on Wellness

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — May 24, 2019 — 4 min read
While Cardinal Innovations Healthcare's employees are focused on the well-being of members and their families, Andrew Pitchford is thinking about their health and wellness.

“The wellbeing of our employees is so important," said Pitchford. “It affects our health, both physical and mental, and our ability to serve our members."

Pitchford has worked as the Benefits Operations Manager for Cardinal Innovations for the last five years, working hard to enhance Cardinal Innovations' wellness program as well as on many other efforts intended to recognize employees and prioritize their mental and physical health so they can be prepared to do their best for members.  

“We try to look at all aspects of wellbeing; not just physical, but financial, social, emotional, and career health. It's not always easy to take time out for ourselves, so we try to offer little bites of wellness wherever we can – whether it's offering onsite Yoga, incentivizing preventive care screenings, offering flu shots, financial wellness seminars and one on one counseling, mental health webinars through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), or just making healthy snacks available," he said. 

Human Resources Director Angela Genaro-Ruilova said Pitchford deserves to be recognized for what he's accomplished and all the work he does.

“He truly cares for the caregivers of our organization," Genaro-Ruilova said. “Andrew has been asked to serve on multiple committees given his role in Human Resources. He helped guide the Support group on the Recognition project. He did the same with the Collaboration group and helped them complete the employee volunteer program. He has enhanced our wellness program and continues to upgrade our employee benefit offerings."  

Pitchford said two of his goals this year lined up with projects assigned to the Cardinal Innovations Culture Ambassadors, a group of employees from across the organization who are charged with improving the overall culture of the organization.

“I partnered with the Support group to develop an organization-wide employee recognition program," he said. He also has worked with the Collaboration group that has been working on a program to help employees find time to volunteer in their communities. 

“I brought the HR lens and helped align the groups' work with other initiatives and leadership feedback. Both projects became great cross-functional efforts, as we collaborated with Communications, Information Technology, Office of General Counsel, and others," Pitchford said. “I'm continuing to build upon these initiatives with further enhancements to our paid leave benefits and more ways to recognize and reward employees for the work that they do."

Before joining Cardinal Innovations, Pitchford worked for Orlando Health, a hospital network in Florida, building schedules for the nursing units and ensuring all time worked or on leave was recorded accurately. He also briefly worked as an executive assistant for one of the hospital's leadership teams before relocating to Charlotte, N.C. 

As Benefits Operations Manager for Cardinal Innovations, Pitchford oversees the strategy and delivery of employee benefits, which includes healthcare, retirement, paid leave, wellness, and other employee engagement initiatives. He also manages the organization's compensation structure and incentive pay plans, as well as the HR Information System (HRIS), UltiPro.

“I hope that my work helps to enhance Cardinal Innovations' total rewards package, keeping it competitive to attract and retain top talent," he said. “I want employees to feel engaged, valued, and taken care of, so that they can continue to care for our members."  

Pitchford has a degree in molecular and microbiology, and said healthcare has always been his passion. “I was pre-med in college," he said. “I decided that working more behind-the-scenes was a better fit for me, so I got my master's in Health Services Administration."

Pitchford said he fell into HR and loved it. He was originally drawn to Cardinal Innovations because of its work in behavioral health.

“My first job through junior high and high school was providing respite care for a family I grew up with whose son had a developmental disability," Pitchford said. “I don't know that they ever had the support in West Virginia that Cardinal Innovations provides in the state of North Carolina."

Pitchford said he's excited about the future of healthcare and the efforts to make mental health a greater priority for all. 

“I feel like even though mental health is getting more public attention in recent years, it still isn't a top priority for most people," he said. “Cardinal Innovations has always been at the forefront, working to help people live better lives. I'm excited to see how we continue being innovative and making a difference as we look at whole-person health, and I hope to continue helping those that help others."
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