Benefits That Matter: Caitlin Orchard

This series introduces an employee benefit and the meaning behind it, through the lives of Green River employees and their families. Created by Sheryl Gordon.

Caitlin-Baby

Welcome to the family!

What event most recently occurred in your life that got you thinking about benefits?
The most recent event in my life where benefits were at the forefront of my mind was the birth of my son Noah. He was born January 22nd at Good Samaritan Hospital. It was the most precious and wonderful moment of my life.

What specific Green River benefit do you appreciate most?
Before the Community and Technical College system I was in private industry and did not have benefits. I was responsible for covering my own medical costs. I appreciate every single benefit we receive and I have had to use all of them over the past five months for maternity leave.

Tell us about your family members covered by this benefit.
My son and I are covered under my benefits. My husband has his own insurance so we are able to have double coverage for Noah. Most of the expenses were from the hospital and all of his well-baby check-ups. I love the fact my medical insurance allowed me to choose our pediatrician because Noah loves his doctor.

What does that benefit mean to you and loved ones?
In my opinion our benefits are worth their weight in gold. I have always been so thankful for our sick leave, vacation, medical and dental.  We do not know how good we have it until we need to use our benefits. Our medical insurance was a blessing because I had to have a C-section which costs more money and without that coverage we would have been in trouble. My vacation and sick time allowed me to stay home full time with Noah during his first months of life and really learn how to be a mom. Those were precious moments I did not want to miss and luckily I had the leave to cover the time. During his first week of life we were at the pediatrician’s office six times for various reasons, and thank goodness for medical benefits, because I do not know how we would have afforded the expenses. It’s amazing how much health care costs, and we are very fortunate to have these benefits. Again, worth their weight in gold.

What tips would you provide to anyone about to go through a similar life event?
I would recommend using our resources here on campus to plan out any leave you want to take. Meeting with Sheryl in HR and Shirley and Elizabeth in payroll really helped me figure out how to use my leave to maximize my time and money. This goes without saying, but planning with your supervisor is very helpful. Sarah and my team in the Welcome Center were so accommodating and supportive. Lean on other colleagues that have gone through the experience to see what they did and what worked for them. Many of the awesome ladies I work with gave me great advice and helped me plan. Once the baby comes, enjoy every single moment. :)

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