One of our defined initiatives is to make Encompass Home Health the best place you have ever worked. One of the elements that helps support our Encompass culture is our Encompass Cares Foundation. We have accomplished some wonderful things through the Foundation, from sending our staff to locations around the world, to helping our local communities through projects such as fan drives and holiday toy drives. In addition, we have been able to come to the aide of our fellow employees in their times of great need after fires and natural disasters.
However, over the last two years we have also had numerous requests to be able to help our co-workers who have had other types of Emergency needs which are currently outside the scope of our mission. These requests have ranged from seeking help to defer medical expenses related to major illnesses to covering the cost of burial expenses related to the death on an immediate family member. As a result, we have officially altered the mission of Encompass Cares in order to create an expanded Employee Emergency Relief Fund to allow us to provide this additional level of support to one another as these types of hardships occur.
As you can imagine with over 8,000 employees there are many needs that come up within our Encompass family. As a result, in order to be able to provide this added benefit, grant recipients will have to be active contributors to the Encompass Cares Foundation by having made a donation to Encompass Cares within the 12 months prior to the grant request. Requests for grants from the Employee Emergency Relief Fund will be reviewed by an independent committee made up of persons with no relationship to Encompass Home Health. In order to qualify for a grant, a grant recipient must be able to prove that they have experienced an undue hardship as a result of these unexpected medical or burial expenses. Furthermore, the annual maximum grant for medical or death related benefits will be $1,500 per employee. Again, the grant committee will have full authority over the approval of all Emergency Relief grants and there is no guarantee that all grant requests will be honored but every effort will be made to honor all grant requests that are deemed appropriate.
It is our hope that by expanding the mission of Encompass Cares to include an Employee Emergency Relief Fund we will be able to better serve one another in our times of need and that in so doing you will have a greater sense of the distinctive elements of being an Encompass employee. Thanks to all of you who have been active supporters of Encompass Cares. If you have not already made your contribution to Encompass Cares please consider doing so by contributing on line. When we all work together even the smallest donation can make a huge difference in our world, in our community and or our co-workers. Thank you for considering becoming a participant in the Encompass Cares Mission.