MetLife offers paid leave to licensed health care workers to join coronavirus fight

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WHITESTOWN — MetLife is offering paid voluntary leave to its licensed health care workers who join the fight against COVID-19. MetLife medical professionals who volunteer will be deployed in two-week rotations to hospitals and other health care facilities in locations across the country.

MetLife employs dozens of full-time trained nurses, behavioral health professionals, physicians and other medical workers to help patients on disability leave recover and safely return to work.

Under this new program, which was created by MetLife’s Return to Health Organization in response to the strong interest voiced from MetLife employees wishing to help, these specialists now have the flexibility to volunteer to support pandemic relief efforts without impacting their jobs.

Of the 23 volunteers in the new program to-date, seven are being placed at hospitals and behavior health facilities in the Whitestown area. They include a registered nurse, multiple nurse consultants and psychiatric clinical specialists.

“MetLife has a 152-year history of always being there when our customers and communities need us the most,” said Bill Pappas, executive vice-president and head of Global Technology and Operations, MetLife. “That includes the communities in upstate New York where we work and live. The entire MetLife family is incredibly proud that our people want to use their training to make a positive impact. Whether it’s augmenting a local health center’s staff or filling in for a front-line medical worker in desperate need of a break, our goal is to help in any capacity needed.”

MetLife has a long history helping the communities in which employees live. In 1909 MetLife created a Welfare Division that included a Visiting Nurse Service for policyholders. During its 44 years in existence, more than 20 million people received over 100 million nursing visits.

MetLife anticipates placing clinical volunteers in hospitals, COVID testing centers, blood banks, assisted living facilities and urgent care facilities. Its mental health professionals will be matched with local community mental health and support groups.

The first group of 23 volunteers spans nine states, with the largest groups located in areas in which MetLife has a significant employee base such as Whitestown and the greater-Cary, N.C. area. Other locations include California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, New Hampshire and Oregon.

Volunteers matched to-date include a registered nurse volunteering in an assisted living facility; a certified EMT providing relief hours for fire department staff; a psychiatric clinical specialist assisting a long-term care facility COVID unit; and numerous nurse consultants volunteering at local hospitals. If the demand for medical volunteers during the pandemic continues, MetLife will evaluate if rotations can be extended or added.

The action follows MetLife’s April 10 announcements on tools and accommodations being made for Small Business and Auto and Home customers as well the opening of the Intercontinental Hotel in New York City as free housing for health care workers.

Additionally, the MetLife Foundation announced on March 31 that it is committing $25 million to the global response to COVID-19 in support of communities impacted by the pandemic.

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