Henry Ford Health

Henry Ford Health is a leading healthcare system based in Detroit. We talked with Gloria Brown, Director of Benefits at Henry Ford Health, about how she and her team identified and launched inclusive fertility and family-building benefits for their more than 28,000 eligible team members.

How Henry Ford Health cares for team members with inclusive fertility and family-building benefits

When team members join Henry Ford Health, they tend to stick around. At its 2023 annual service awards banquet, the healthcare system celebrated 1,800 team members who have been with them for more than 15 years, including 54 who have 45 years of service.

Gloria Brown, Director of Benefits at Henry Ford Health, who has been with the organization for 37 years, credits the healthcare system’s excellent company culture for its team member retention.

“Our company culture is one of the main reasons our team members stay with us,” Brown said. “We have a culture of belonging and caring. We strive to have our team members feel like they’re seen, heard, valued, and appreciated.”

Creating a place where team members want to stay also means evolving benefits to meet the needs of today’s workforce. While Henry Ford Health offered some basic family-building resources — a cycle offer fertility treatments and a separate adoption benefit — Brown and the benefits team listened to feedback from team members and realized it was time to expand their offerings.

"The dynamics of building a family have changed. We have a very diverse team member population here at Henry Ford Health. We wanted to enhance the benefit and make it all inclusive, regardless of how you form your family.”

Choosing Carrot: A flexible benefit and cultural fit

Finding an inclusive benefit that would support all fertility and family-building journeys was first on the team’s priority list. They also wanted something that would be simple for both team members and HR administrators to use and understand. And identifying a benefit that matched their commitment to a caring company culture was crucial, too.

Brown could see that Carrot’s inclusive platform checked every box, with support for all fertility and family-building journeys, including assisted reproduction, fertility preservation, donor assistance, gestational surrogacy, and adoption. Carrot’s high-touch support both for members and HR leaders also appealed to the team. But it was Carrot team members’ passion for the benefit and company that stood out the most to her.

“I could tell that they cared not only about the benefit and where they worked but also about anyone who needs this benefit,” Brown said. “We felt like they would definitely treat our team members the way that we treat them. It felt like Carrot was a great cultural fit for us.”

Importantly, Carrot also offered the flexibility Henry Ford Health needed. Because Henry Ford Health is a large healthcare system, it was critical that any fertility partner work with their own clinics and providers in the same way their insurance plans do. They also wanted to provide fertility medications through their own pharmacy. Carrot was able to make all of this happen by collaborating cross-functionally with multiple teams across Henry Ford Health, including developing a custom network within the Carrot Provider Finder focused on Henry Ford Health clinics and providers.

“There were at least six different areas that came together to make this benefit a reality,” Brown said. “It was the biggest group I’ve ever worked on in a project, and we had some excellent project managers from Henry Ford Health and from Carrot. They kept us on track, and we got everything done.”

The results: An impactful benefit that goes beyond the basics

When Henry Ford Health launched Carrot in April 2023, communicating the new benefit was another cross-functional project.

Carrot, the Henry Ford Health HR, women’s health and pharmacy teams, their benefits consultants and Health Alliance Plan (HAP) all worked together to create a comprehensive communications plan.

The Henry Ford Health team leveraged their internal newsletter, intranet, a dedicated email inbox for questions, their employee services department, and email announcements from Carrot to 
ensure all team members were aware of their new resources.

Since launching with Carrot in April 2023, Henry Ford Health has already seen strong monthly enrollment and utilization.

  • Henry Ford Health team members have had 2,616 total touchpoints with the Carrot platform, Carrot care navigators, and fertility and family-building experts
  • Top journeys include assisted reproduction, trying to get pregnant, and fertility preservation
  • When asked if having Carrot made them more likely to stay at Henry Ford Health, 100% of respondents said “yes”

Brown said she’s heard from employees that they’re grateful to have access to family-building resources that support them, no matter how they’ll grow their family.

“When team members think about where they’re going to work, they think about salary and benefits,” Brown said. “This type of benefit is above and beyond medical, dental, and vision. This is a benefit that helps people build families in whatever way that might look for them.”

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