Practice what you preach

Michael J. Baird’s operating philosophy has never wavered during the 25 years since he founded Human Arc. The philosophy that making a healthy living should involve making America healthier is exemplified every day at the company, where he is chairman and CEO.

Since he wanted his company to follow that saying, he knew he’d have to staff the company with caring and dedicated individuals who each shared a personal stake in community outreach. Thus, since its inception, Human Arc, which serves hospitals and health care systems with self-pay reimbursement-related services, has fostered and supported individual and employee group community service as a character building part of every employee’s life.

Every employee is expected to perform eight hours of outreach every year, which is company paid. Employees are also encouraged to contribute time in terms of additional unpaid community service work.

The environment has resulted in 150,000 lives positively impacted in the first half of 2009 alone, on the company’s way to a goal of impacting 1 million people on an annualized basis.

In fact, community outreach by Human Arc employees during a recent 30 month-period alone has approached 10,000 hours, which is almost a record for a company of barely 350 people.

But, with employees like Alicia Burton, the number of hours Human Arc workers have volunteered is no surprise.

Burton spearheaded a back-to-school Backpack Drive among fellow Cleveland-area employees to provide inner-city children and the homeless children of residents of the Salvation Army shelter with new backpacks. The backpacks were filled with all the school supplies they need to enter elementary school.

Over the last three summers, Burton’s efforts, along with the help of 80 other employees, have resulted in 1,100 economically disadvantaged children entering fall school classes completely equipped for learning.

In addition to individual employees making an impact, Human Arc has made more than $33,000 in cash donations to charities and community initiatives. In 2008, the company helped organizations ranging from community food banks, the Salvation Army, United Way and Junior Achievement to individual community hospital charity care funds as well as a college scholarship fund for deserving community students.

How to reach: Human Arc, (216) 431-5200 or