Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center Tuesday was awarded the Spokane County Community Services Employer of the Year award for outstanding commitment to incorporating the disabled into the workplace.
Executive Director Peggy Mangiaracina said the center has hired eight disabled employees since a Hire Ability Day presentation five years ago showed how they had been integrated into the work force at a Cincinnati hospital.
The program has been so successful, she said, Sacred Heart is planning a second phase that will introduce high school students to hospital work.
County Commissioner Todd Mielke told a Hire Ability Day luncheon that 350 of the 6,300 county residents with a disability are working, earning $2.2 million, and becoming more self-sufficient.
Nationally, more than 80 percent of those with disabilities are unemployed, he said.