Mercy Health has been selected as a phase two provider partner in implementing the Retaining Employment and Talent After Injury/Illness Network (RETAIN) program. RETAIN is a federally funded program exploring return to work/stay at work strategies and is led by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. This free program is open to workers ages 18-65 who have non-occupational illnesses or injuries that prevent them from performing their jobs.  

RETAIN began as a pilot program (phase one) in Youngstown, Ohio through a partnership with Mercy Health and the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services. The goal of phase one was to improve health care results by implementing a patient-centered model that utilizes early intervention so workers can return to work more quickly after illness or injury. These efforts help workers keep their place as valued members of the workforce and avoid the severe economic loss that workers may suffer when illness or injury occurs. 

Mercy Health was awarded $18.8 million in phase two of the program to extend the pilot program to Toledo and Cincinnati and run it through 2025. The program will provide additional job opportunities in those markets.

RETAIN is a unique program because it offers comprehensive resources to connect employees to the help they need, including new work opportunities. RETAIN works with employers to adopt a return-to-work process to allow workers to complete essential functions of their job during their recovery and after their return to work. Participants will also have access to a nurse hotline.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with RETAIN on this vital program,” noted Marcia Swehla, vice president, business development at Bon Secours Mercy Health. “Intervention services, such as this program, help to strengthen the workforce here in Cincinnati. We have already seen exceptional results during phase one and look forward to continuing that success through the remainder of the study."

Mercy Health, one of the largest health systems in Ohio, is uniquely equipped to partner with RETAIN on this multi-phase and multi-year effort.